The Sanderling is a small species of wading bird which visits Ireland during the winter. Migrating south from Siberia and Greenland, the first flocks of Sanderling arrive in Ireland in July at the earliest, with numbers typically peaking between September and April.
These highly active birds are often seen running as they forage at the edge of waves on beaches and estuaries. They feed on a variety of prey items including small crustaceans, marine worms and insects. Sanderling can be told apart from similar wading species such as Dunlin by its straighter, more stout bill and brighter plumage, and differences in size from Knot which are slightly larger and stockier in stature.
The individual pictured here was photographed by an Inis Ecologist at Quilty Beach in West Clare, located in the Mid Clare Coast Special Protection Area. Inis carry out a wide range of bird surveys across Ireland including but not limited to marine and intertidal waterbird surveys, vantage point surveys and walkover breeding bird surveys.