Monday, 10 June 2013

The Cockersands Sanderling....

....and a speed merchant!

Sanderling. Howard Stockdale.

Probably without realising it Howard Stockdale has done me a favour this year regarding the Cockersands Sanderling. I had wanted to keep an eye on things here to see if any numbers passed through at the end of May/early June but got sidelined by other things. However, Howard paid several visits and achieved a peak count of fourteen Sanderling on 5 June on Plover Scar, unfortunately nothing like the excellent count of 130 there on 31 May 2007, but an excellent record just the same....Sanderlings at Cockersands always are.  

 Sanderling. Howard Stockdale.

Thanks for the many records and images you sent me Howard, they are very much appreciated. 
The Speed Merchant.

A Sanderling, with a departure weight of just over a hundred grams flew the 6,000 kilometres from Norway to Ghana in less than five days. The bird was photographed on 11 August 2009 in chilly, damp South Norway, and on 16 August a Ghanaian biologist spotted him under the coconut palms on Esiama beach. 

Never before has this tiny wader been seen to cross such a huge distance in such a short time, says research coordinator Dr Jeroen Reneerkens of the University of Groningen. A Sanderling weighs less than 100 grams, this bird flew so fast that it’s impossible for him to have gone around Africa, he must have flown straight across the Sahara and that’s remarkable for a typical coastal bird.

Thanks to International Wader Study Group and Dr Jeroen Reneerkens for this abbreviated story about this remarkable Sanderling.


Warren Baker said...

If this bloody weather dont cheer up Pete, i'll be emulating that speedy sanderling, and a lot faster :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Understand how you feel Warren. Though we had a pretty good week last week, its now beginning to look like returning back to 'normal' summer weather in the UK.