madasyernan's picture


Observed: 27th December 2009 By: madasyernanmadasyernan’s reputation in Birdsmadasyernan’s reputation in Birdsmadasyernan’s reputation in Birds
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I think part of the Scolopacidae family. I did think Dunlin, but bill isnt curved. Then Sanderling but apparently we do not get these in Cornwall (quote)am I on the right track ?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


RoyW's picture

Don't always believe the books

You are definitely on the right track, these are Sanderling.

Sanderling are found in Cornwall as passage and winter visitors (but are not widespread along the Cornish coast in winter). The maps in many books, and on the RSPB website, have chosen to show only the areas where wintering Sanderling are more widespread. Sometimes you will find birds that are apparently outside their normal area, and in these cases it is obviously important to make sure that you check all of the features to be certain that you have not made a mistake. It doesn't always mean that you are seeing something unusual though. Small, but regular, populations may not be shown on maps in field guides, and distribution changes of many species often leave guides well out of date (even recent publications may base their maps on out dated surveys).

RHoman's picture


The grey/white combination, stubby black bill and the dark area around the "elbow" of the wing (especially in the right hand bird) all suggest Sanderling. The trouble with quotes is that the wildlife usually doesn't get told!


Robert Homan

madasyernan's picture


This is so hard.
Identification etc,

Does it get easier?


Sam, Student.

dw5448's picture

Sanderling behaviour

If they were running around on very fast legs that is also a good part of the general "jizz" too.

The trouble with ID is that as you get more experience you take some of the things you found hard at the start for granted - "everybody knows that" - and you can end up taking on the more challenging identifications and still being frustrated (you can probably guess that this is my current problem).

Books can be a bit of a pain as they tend to reduce things so much. Sometimes DVDs are helpful, but there is the usual problem of knowing which species it might be worth looking at.