Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Day 314 - Sandpipers part 3 - Wonderfully Speckled Wood Sanpipers

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Thanks to David DarrellLambert (@birdbrainuk)
for this as my shots weren't very good
Hey everyone today's Day 314 and I like to go to a place called Nosterfield. Now, if you have ever read my blog before this then you will know that I go here quite often. This is one of the places that I have seen these birds. I also go to Norfolk on a 'nature holiday' where we do other things as well, but mostly go to Norfolk's nature reserves. One of their bigger ones is called Cley Marshes by the NWT (Nofolk Wildlife Trusts). Interestingly enough the other place in Norfolk I have seen these birds (Hickling Broads) is also run by the NWT,

Now, what am I actually talking about when I say 'these birds' well if you look at the second part of the title then you'll know that I am talking about Sandpipers. But the last part explains that today's post is about Wood Sandpipers. They are lovely birds and it's a shame I don't see more of them.

So, here are the facts:
  • Firstly, there is more than just one type of Sandpiper, that's why I have 3 parts to Sandpipers, and if could spot them all there could be 19 parts!  The ones I have seen so far are:
Another one from David - thanks David :-)
  1. The Wood Sandpiper (this one)
  2. Common Sandpiper
  3. Green Sandpiper
  • The Wood Sandpiper has a lot in common with both of these, not as much the Common, but the Green.
  • These two birds look almost identical, and live in almost exactly the same habitats. They can, however, be told apart from each other though.
  • One thing is that the back of the Wood Sandpipers, has lots of visible white spots and the overall colour is Brown, whereas the Green's in Black with a few dashes.
  • Here is a video by the BTO showing what some more differences are:
  • They are mostly a passage bird (according to the RSPB) and are found mostly in the South and East of England. They are also found passaging commonly on the East of Ireland.
  • There is a spot in North-Eastern Scotland where they are found breeding. It's sort of in the Cairngorms National Park.
  • This place in Scotland has only a few birds though, the RSPB says that there are only between 11 and 27 breeding pairs in the UK.
  • Because of this very small breeding population, they are an Amber Status, this puts them on the IUCN List but they are of Least Concern.
Wood Sandpiper from the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland
Sandpipers in the Crossley ID Guide
- one of my Mums favourite bird books
  • The global population (according to Birdlife) is thought to be between just 3,100,000 and 3,600,000 individuals.
  • They are 20cm long and have a wingspan of 56cm. Both sexes weigh around 65g and they need a ring size B+
  • These birds nest on the ground, which is not unusual for a wader, and lay only between 3 and 4 eggs.
  • They like to eats a variety of things such as insects, spiders, worms, shellfish, small fish, frogs and plant matter. What they eat depends on what they can find in each season.
  • Average lifespan isn't easy to work out as we don't see many here but the oldest Wood Sandpiper recorded was almost 8 years old.
Here are a few links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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