Sanderling
Calidris alba

– medium-sized wader, size of Dunlin
– nocturnal/diurnal migrant
– migrates singly or in small flocks sometimes mixed with other Calidris
– BREED plumage very different from NBREED


Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED -> NBREED
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., 1CY
BIF2727, 22/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– aged as AD due to bleached remiges and coverts
– shortest bill of the larger Calidris, rather blunt tip

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED -> NBREED, 3rd from right
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., AD NBREED and 1CY
BIF2728, 22/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– generally colder greyish and more coarsely patterned than accompanying Dunlins

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED -> NBREED, 4th from left
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., AD NBREED and 1CY
BIF2731, 22/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– the underside is largely pure white, dark pattern confined to the breast
– underwing pattern the same as in Dunlin

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED -> NBREED, 1st and 3rd from left
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp.
BIF2729, 22/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– greyer base colour
– dark center of rump and uppertail coverts often appears narrower than in Dunlin

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED
BIF2734, 11/05/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– AD BREED uppersides dark rufous, in fresh BREED the mantle feathers show whitish fringes resulting in a scaly appearance

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD BREED -> NBREED
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., AD NBREED and 1CY
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula ssp., 1CY
BIF2732, 22/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– can you pick out the two Sanderlings?

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD NBREED
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres, NBREED
BIF2047 09/11/2013, Helgoland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– AD NBREED dark plumage parts black thus even more contrasting than 1CY

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, AD NBREED
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria i. interpres, AD NBREED
BIF2048 09/11/2013, Helgoland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– in NBREED grey back strongly contrasting to black and white wings

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
BIF2053, 02/10/2012, Baltic Sea, offshore, Martin Grimm
– 1CY compared to other Calidris very contrasting dark-grey and white
– extensive white head

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
BIF2049 21/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– 1CY paler than NBREED and with hint of throat-collar
– no obvious contrast from back to upperwing

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
BIF2050 16/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
BIF2051 16/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
BIF2052 18/10/2017, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– more white in upperwings than other Calidris

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., 1CY
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria i. interpres NBREED
BIF2054 18/10/2017, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– about same size as Dunlin but note clean white underside and colder tones

Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
Ruff Calidris pugnax, 1CY M
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., 1CY
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula ssp., AD, 1CY
Little Stint Calidris minuta, 1CY
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica ssp., 1CY
BIF1977, 21/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– in mixed flocks (e.g. the lowest bird to the right) stands out because of completely white underside and dark upperwing

Sanderling Calidris a. alba ssp.
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp.
BIF2733, 19/02/2018, Otterndorf, Germany, Roland Neumann
– at greater distance the contrasting black and white wings make an ID possible


Sanderling Calidris a. alba, call in flight
BIF2074, 26/09/2014, Prerow, Germany, Patrick Franke


Sanderling Calidris a. alba, calls in flight
BIF2075, 26/09/2014, Prerow, Germany, Patrick Franke


Sanderling Calidris a. alba, calls in flight
BIF2076, 26/09/2014, Prerow, Germany, Patrick Franke

voice:
– in flight usually a single, metallic call like ‘wink’ or ‘wit’
– quite variable, fast monophonic finch-like upslur (BIF2074, BIF2076) or rather complex shapes (BIF2075, BIF2076)

comparison species:
Red Knot (v)
Curlew Sandpiper
Dunlin
Little Stint

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