(April-July): Common Sandpipers breed in northern Eurasia from
the Atlantic across the continent to Central Japan.
They usually arrive at their breeding grounds in pairs. Their breeding song
is a repeated rising kittie-needie. They prefer to nest near water,
including stony and fast flowing rivers, small pools, lakes, sheltered sea
coasts. Their nest is usually a shallow hollow on the ground, lined with
leaves and plant stalks, under overhanging plants. But sometimes in trees
or shrubs, and even on rafts of floating vegetation. 4 yellowish eggs with
dark mottling or spots are laid. The male does most of the incubation. (21-23
days). As soon as they are dry, the hatchlings disperse away from the nest
to hide among the surrounding vegetation. The male does most of the rearing.
Kedidi Pasir (Malay)
Common Sandpipers are easily identified by their habit of "teetering":
constantly bobbing head and tail while on the ground, particularly
when feeding. Their Malay name sounds like their call.
Common Sandpipers appears to be the least specialised and eat a wide
variety of prey: from minute invertebrates to crustacea, worms, insects,
spiders, centipedes. They may even scavenge from food scraps thrown
out by people from boats or waterside activities.
Common Sandpipers feed restlessly and deliberately. They run along
the water's edge, visually locating prey on the surface and not by
probing in the mud. Thus they avoid soft mud and prefer to forage
on rocky coastlines and breakwaters. They may even forage in concrete
drainage ditches, and inland grasslands. They may also dash after
prey that they spot some distance away. They may swim or dive after
prey. Prey is often broken up into smaller bite-sized pieces, e.g.,
Common Sandpipers are abundant but typically feed alone or in pairs,
avoiding areas where other more gregarious species feed. But they
roost in small groups of about 30 and migrate in flocks.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: Small (19-21cm), white eyebrows, brown
side of breast, faintly barred wing coverts; bill short
(2-3cm); legs short greenish.
Summer/ breeding: Arrow-shaped markings on the back.
Winter/non-breeding: Plain grey-brown back, faint bars
Juvenile: Buff edges to feathers
of brown parts.
Call: Described as a high-pitched
descending piping see-see-see-see or twee-wee-wee
in flight. Noisy when breeding or migrating, but feed
In flight: Dark rump, barred
white edges to dark tail, white diagonal wing bar meeting
white trailing edges of primaries.
Rosair and Cottridge
with characteristic stiff wingbeats, alternating with
short glides on down-turned wings, skimming over water.
Status in Singapore: Very
common winter visitor throughout the island and offshore
World distribution: Throughout
the Old World, including Australia.
Classification: Family Scolopacidae.
World 88 species, Singapore 34 species. From
the Order Charadiiformes.
Migration: Common Sandpipers migrate
in small groups (rarely more than 200) or alone. They migrate well north,
across much of the Old World including Australia, although few reach New
Zealand. They are likely to be among the most numerous visiting waders but
this is hard to confirm because they are widely dispersed in their winter
grounds. They winter in a wide variety of wetlands that offer firm mud,
sandy, rocky or grassy surfaces. These include mangroves, coastal dunes,
estuaries, rivers, ponds, canals, reservoirs, rice fields.
Status and threats: The Common Sandpiper
(for now) faces no serious threats and are the most widespread and adaptable
of shorebirds. Perhaps it is because they can eat a wide range of food.
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 115: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 238-240: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 57: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagram, number of species).
- G W H Davison
and Chew Yen Fook, "A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore", New Holland Publishers Ltd., 1995
(p. 37: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 122: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- Clive Briffett,
"A Guide to the Common Birds of Singapore", BP Science
Centre,1992 (p. 60: habit, habitat).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 76: habits, description, status in
Singapore, and lovely drawings of the birds).
- M W F Tweedie,
"Common Birds of the Malay Peninsula", Longman,1970
(p. 11: description, distribution, habits, habitat, drawing).
- G C Madoc, "An
Introduction to Malayan Birds", Malayan Nature Society, 1947
(p. 43: description, habits, habitat).
- James Hancock,
"Herons and Egrets of the World: A photographic journey",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 28: identification, distribution, status, feeding,
breeding, and photos of all life stages)
- David Rosair and
David Cottridge, "Photographic Guide to the Shorebirds of the
World", Facts on File, 1995 (p. 118: photos of flight, adults-breeding
and non-breeding, and juvenile).