The Sanderling (Calidris alba - Bécasseau sanderling) is a small wader that breads in the High Arctic tundra of eastern Canada, Greenland and northern Siberia and has a worldwide distribution outside the breading season.
Despite its large distribution and its occurrence in areas (sandy beaches) accessible to people, birdwatchers and biologists very little is known about Sanderlings compared to many other common wader species.
In this context, a Workshop on Sanderlings was held during the International Wader Study Group conference in Jastrzębia Góra, Poland in 2008. During the discussion session of this Workshop it was decided to instigate a new International Wader Study Group project on Sanderlings. The aims of this project are to create a large international network of collaborators who will be encouraged to step up colour-ringing and resighting Sanderlings, especially in currently underrepresented countries.
And what can we, both local and visiting birders/ornithologists, do here in Morocco for this? We can pay more attention to these Sanderlings and to report any colour-ringed individuals to their respective ringing scheme. So by doing this, we are making your birding count.
For more information about the Sanderlings using the East Atlantic Flyway see the review of Reneerkens et al (2009):
Reneerkens, J., Benhoussa, A., Boland, H., Collier, M., Grond, K., Günther, K., Hallgrimsson, G.T., Hansen, J., Meissner, W., de Meulenaer, B., Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y., Piersma, T., Poot, M., van Roomen, M., Summers, R.W., Tomkovich, P.S. & Underhill, L.G. 2009. Sanderlings using African–Eurasian flyways: a review of current knowledge. Wader Study Group Bull. 116: 2–20.
And for more information about the International Wader Study Group project on Sanderlings please refer to this website: http://www.waderstudygroup.org/res/project/sanderling.php
A Sanderling colour-ringed in Iceland and found wintering at Oued Martil, northern Morocco
Rachid during one of his regular visits to Oued Martil found a colour-ringed Sanderling on 17 September 2011 and after some correspondence with Jeroen Reneerkens and others, they couldn’t find the origin of the bird (the colours were not seen properly, due to the distance). Fortunately, Rachid went back on 22 September and found and photographed the bird (the colour rings were visible this time which confirmed the bird's origin). Edit: The bird seen again at the same place on 23 October by Rachid and Mohamed. The Sanderling was ringed in Sandgerði, Iceland during its northward migration on 18 May 2010 by the research team of J. Reneerkens. Since it was ringed, this bird was re-sighted several times in its stopover site in Iceland (in and around the ringing site) in springs 2010 and 2011 and once in France in spring 2011.
Colour-ringed Sanderling re-signted in Martil, 22 September 2011. The bird has a green flag on the left upper leg, two yellow rings on the lower left leg, and a red ring, above a yellow ring on the right lower leg
(Rachid El Khamlichi).
Thanks to Jeroen Reneerkens (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) for his quick correspondence with Rachid and for providing the sightings history of the Sanderling.