Monday, May 4, 2015
Everyone welcomes the arrival of summer migrants - swallows, cuckoos, warblers - but common sandpipers are barely noticed, which is a pity because they are such a charming feature of our northern riverbanks.
They may be common and their plumage colours are muted but they are delightful little waders. This one was feeding on the margin of Tunstall reservoir, near Wolsingham in Weardale.
When they're not feeding along the water margin they tend to perch on boulders on the edge and bob up and down - behaviour known as 'teetering'. I usually don't spot them until they fly, with those distinctive fast, shallow wing beats and three-note alarm call.