Monday 11 May 2020

Common Sandpiper - passing through

Andy M spotted a pair of Common Sandpiper yesterday. He was watching the pair of Canada Geese with their three goslings on the GP lake, when two small waders flew in low and fast across the water, settling out of sight on the near bank. Andy back-tracked around the lake a little to get a better view, but the birds were rather nervy and flew to a perch on the opposite side, from where Andy was able to get some (rather distant) photos. Soon afterwards the birds were off and on their way again.

Common Sandpiper are largely summer visitors to the UK, breeding in Wales and northern Britain, although some birds also winter around the south and east coast. Consequently, they are not common in East Anglia, and tend to be seen only on migration between Africa and Scandinavia - as was presumably the case for the pair Andy saw.  They have plain olive-brown upper parts, with a pale stripe over the eye, white underparts, and a characteristic white 'hook' just in front of the shoulder. In flight, a white wingbar, white on the underwings, and a dark central rump and tail are also typical.

 Common Sandpiper - showing white wingbar and dark centre to tail and rump
 Common Sandpiper - showing white underwing, with darker trailing edge
 Common Sandpiper - note the white shoulder 'notch', and pale eye-stripe
Common Sandpiper
 Common Sandpiper

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The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here:>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (