Sanderling in the mud

Sanderling. It sounds like it could be a verb as well as a noun. If it’s a verb, then these Sanderlings are definitely busy sanderling in the mud at the Bay of Tuquoy:

Sanderling - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are small, plump and energetic. They look like ridiculous clockwork toys as they race in and out and in and out again avoiding the waves.

They breed in the Arctic on the tundra. Our nearest breeding pairs are on the Svalbard islands of Norway. They are winter visitors to the UK. It’s August and the birds here on Westray already think it’s winter.

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