Mongolian: Гурвалж элсэг
French: Becasseau sanderling
Japanese: ミユビシギ (Miyubi-shigi)
Body length: 18-21 cm
Breeds in high
Arctic; seen on passage and in winter in sometimes large flocks on sandy
beaches, mudflats on pools near coast; rare inland. Feeds with distinctive
dashing running action ahead of breaking waves, but also more methodically on
calmer, shallow shorelines or grassy areas.
Identification: Dunlin-sized, but more compact. Could be confused
with stints owing to lively action, especially lone bird away from typical
shore habitat, but note larger size, stouter bill, much broader black-bordered
white-wing-bar, and diagnostic lack of hind toe. In winter, appears strikingly
pale among other shore waders and shows distinctive blackish-bend (when this is
not covered by breast-side feathers).
- Adult summer: In spring, head and clear-cut
dark-spotted breast-band grey/rufous, and upperparts blackish and rufous with
broad pale fringes; in summer, head, breast and upperparts become strongly
- Adult winter: Generally
plain, very pale grey above with blackish lesser coverts; wing-coverts and
tertials diffusely white-fringed.
- Juvenile: General pattern like juvenile
stint, but whole plumage more contrastingly black and white, mantle and
scapulars more spangled or spotted with white (not neat scaly pattern) and
lacks white mantle-and scapular-Vs.