Friday, 11 September 2009
Continuing on from my last posting,this one concentrates on the sanderling. This has to be my favourite of the shorebirds, an energetic little wader,which is extremely active and restless as it searches the shore for food. It often runs like a clockwork toy following the retreating waves in it's search for food. It takes food from the surface or probes in mud. Sanderlings eat small crabs,shellfish,sandhoppers and marine worms that live in mud and sand or are washed in by the tide.
The majority of sanderling that pass through the Lancashire coastline have probably bred on the high Arctic Tundra, on the closest land to the North Pole, in Siberia and Greenland. Peak numbers occur at this time of the year, some of which will winter in South Africa but some will also spend the winter months on our shores. The sanderling is a delightful bird to observe as it scurries around the beach and it can also be quite confiding at times enabling a close approach with the camera.
A few of my latest images are shown above, mainly of juvenile birds, fresh in from Actic breeding grounds. To obtain these images I had to approach the feeding birds carefully and get down on my knees on the wet sand. The birds were very confiding and gave me much pleasure as I watched them refuelling for their long journey to other sunny shores much further to the South.