Here we have a wader apparently on a wet beach, having a bit of a preen. Starting with structure, the black legs seem quite short and the head relatively large for a wader. The usual trend is for a relatively large head to imply a smaller bird (bigger birds have smaller heads, in general). So, this one appears to be a small, short-legged, rounded-looking, almost dumpy wader. Small, dumpy waders tend to be in the genus of sandpipers, Calidris. But which calidrid is this? Let’s turn to plumage. It is quite a strikingly black-andwhite (with a hint of buff) bird; looking clean white on the belly and what little of the breast we can see; and with black-centred wing feathers and a dark-streaked crown. Such a combination is unique to juvenile Sanderling.
KEY FEATURES Relatively large head implies small size Black-and-white with a hint of buff Shortish black legs Dark-centred wing feathers and dark streaked crown
Black-centred wing feathers Dark-streaked crown Buffy shoulder mark Clean white underparts