Wading in the deep
We are also blessed in the UK with huge wintering populations of largely Arcticbreeding waders. Our muddy estuaries and mudflats are hugely important wintering grounds for such familiar coastal species as Dunlin and Knot, Golden Plover and Oystercatcher. Redshanks, Curlews, Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits join the mudflat party, and Sanderling skip along the edge of the breaking wavelets on the beach. Avocets are becoming familiar in winter in some southern estuaries and on rocky coastlines you should see Turnstones, and, if you are lucky, the hugely desirable Purple Sandpiper will be with them. Inland, at suitable sites, Lapwings will be in large flocks and may be joined by thousands of shimmering Golden Plovers. And as always, there is always the chance of a rare wader to add to any year list.