Tim Melling – Common Sandpiper


Tim writes:  Common Sandpipers are quite unusual among British waders as they are almost entirely summer breeding visitors from sub-Saharan Africa.  Most of Britain’s wading birds are winter visitors although quite a few also breed in Britain. The “kitty-needy-kitty-needy” flight call of the Common Sandpiper heralds the arrival of spring close to where I live in the Pennines.  Their stiff-winged flight across the water’s surface consists of rapid pulses of shivering wingbeats interspersed with glides.  They also have a habit of bobbing their long tail, which is why this individual appears to have such a jaunty gait.  About 15 thousand pairs nest in Britain but they are largely restricted to the uplands, but they are commonly seen on migration through the lowlands.  Its scientific name Actitis hypoleucos translates as coast-dweller that is white below.  I photographed this next to a reservoir in the Peak District on 22nd April 2018.


1 Reply to “Tim Melling – Common Sandpiper”

  1. A bloody brilliant little bird.
    June 18th 1972 , Goyt Valley, a Red letter day, my first nest after a two year obsession.
    The egg still resides on its bed of sawdust, in a shoebox, …. I look in now and again.
    Another nest was on a shingle bank of the river Noe at Edale , and a more recent highlight,
    a nest of four young, near Newtonmore , Invernesshire.
    Sadly it is now scarce in, or absent from, many former Peak District sites.

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