Friday, January 13, 2012


I find Sanderlings to be great fun. If you are patient they can be quite tolerant of your presence allowing for interesting observations and photographs. They feed on small aquatic invertebrates, probing the sand with their beak, their heads in almost constant motion.

One of their classic behaviors is racing just ahead of the waves as they roll in, then, as the waves recede, they take advantage of any prey that may be left on the beach.
At one point I found myself just a few feet from them, taking pictures as they were feeding, when a large wave came rolling in. Just before we were about to get wet, both the Sanderlings and I made a beeline inland, literally running side by side. It was a hoot.

One of the more interesting Sanderling I saw was the one above. At first I thought it had some type of eye infection, but the more I look at it the more it looks like a wound from a predator. It's not unusual to see birds with some type of injury or infection. Interestingly enough, many of them still seem able to take of themselves.

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