Saturday, 19 September 2015

Day 310 - Sandpipers Part 2 - Crackingly Super Common Sandpipers

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos )
Hey everyone today's Day 310, only 55 days to go! The frequent, or even occasional, viewers of my blog will know that I have been to Norfolk during my summer holidays. It was quite a while ago now. I came to the realisation while thinking of what to do what today that I haven't done a bird (that is native to England) in a long time, well for 10 days, when I did Ospreys for Day 300. So, I was thinking about what I saw in Norfolk and I found some pictures of Sandpipers! They aren't very good, bot sure why as the weather was ok and they weren't that far away but I haven't actually got any better ones. Even though they are called the Common Sandpiper I haven't seen them very often. I saw these lovely birds on Hickling Broad when we had gone on the boat trip there. I saw these and the Green Sandpipers from the hide we stopped at halfway round the trip- you couldn't get there without a boat!

Anyway, here are the facts on these wrongly named creatures:

  • Now, what I was saying about the Common Sandpipers being wrongly named /|\ wasn't exactly true...
  • ...Common Sandpipers have about 15,000 breeding pairs in the UK, while Green Sandpipers have, 2.
  • Their latin name though is spot on - the first bit is from a Greek word which means coast dweller and the second bit is from two Greek words which means below white. 
  • They are an Amber Status non-the-less because they are a 'species of European concern' and their numbers are declining.
  • I have not yet explained where they live. They are mostly found around Northern England and Scotland as well as Wales and most of Ireland.
  • That is where they merely breed though. They Winter in the South of England and Ireland but nowhere else.
  • There aren't actually many Wintering birds in those places though, only about 73! 
  • Like the Green Sandpiper they eat invertebrates that they find on the surface of the mud or ground. 
  • They like to live on rivers & lakes when they are breeding and when they are migrating they mainly stay on marshes or the coast.
  • They are only about 20cm in length sporting a rather measly 40cm wingspan! Their ring size is a bit better B+. (Not the blood type :-)
  • They weigh, on average, about 50g but they have been found to range between 40g to 80g! That's quite a difference. Females are bigger than Males 
  • They first start breeding at 2 years and have a typical lifespan of 8 years and the longest lived for 14 years and 11 days.
Here are a few links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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