The name derives from Old English sand-yrðling, “sand-ploughman”.

A Small Wader

The Sanderling (Calidris alba) is a small wading bird.

It is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches.

This bird is similar in size to a Dunlin, but stouter, with a thick bill.

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Oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with massive long orange or red bills.

A Large Wader

The different species of Oystercatcher show little variation in shape or appearance.

The plumage of all species is either all-black, or black (or dark brown) on top and white underneath.

They show sexual dimorphism, with females being longer-billed and heavier than males.

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Oystercatchers in Flight at Old Hunstanton, Norfolk, UK

Oystercatchers are large, stocky, black and white wading birds. They have a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight they show a wide, white wing-stripe, a black tail and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings.

Because Oystercatchers eat cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited.

They breed on almost all UK coasts. During the last 50 years, more birds have started breeding inland. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway


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