(April-August): Marsh Sandpipers breed in temperate zones from Southeastern
Europe through Russia to Western Siberia and Ussuriland. The courtship song
is a repeated tu-ee-u. On breeding grounds, the alarm call is a sharp
Kedidi Paya (Malay)
Sandpipers are medium-sized waders with long needle-like bills and
very long greenish legs. They are often mistaken for Greenshanks.
Marsh Sandpipers eat mainly worms, insect larvae and bivalve.
find their prey, Marsh Sandpipers may wade up to their bellies in
shallow water, walking briskly and steadily, pecking off titbits on
the water surface, or sweeping around on the bottoms with their bills.
They appear to prefer soft mud.
Wary birds, Marsh Sandpipers usually hunt alone, but on rich feeding
sites may gather in co-ordinated groups, or join other waders.
However, they roost in large groups, often with other waders such
as Greenshanks. Marsh Sandpipers do not regularly roost in mangroves
but are attracted to open clearings in mangroves.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: Medium (22-25cm), slender; head small;
bill long (3-4cm) straight, needle-like; legs very long
Summer/breeding-Head and neck heavily spotted black becoming
chevrons on flanks.
Winter/non-breeding-Back uniformly grey; darker on shoulders;
Juvenile: Back feathers notched
and edged with buff.
Call: Short, high-pitched
metallic tyeuk or yip when in flight.
In flight: Legs protrude
well beyond tail-tip; prominent white rump and lower back;
no wing bars.
nebularia): similar in flight. Greenshank is larger;
legs shorter; head and neck heavier; bill thicker more
Status in Singapore: Very
common winter visitor and passage migrant to coasts on
the island and North and South offshore islands.
Rosair and Cottridge
World distribution: Worldwide
including Australia and New Zealand.
Classification: Family Scolopiacidae.
World 88 species, Singapore 34 species. From the Order
Marsh Sandpipers nest around grassy and muddy shores of freshwater pools
in steppes and boreal wetlands with lush grassy vegetation. But they may
also tolerate brackish water. Nests may be solitary or in loose colonies
with the nests about 10m apart. Both parents incubate and raise the young.
Migration: Most Marsh Sandpipers winter in sub-Saharan Africa
and in India; others in Europe. Fewer winter in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Marsh Sandpipers tend to fly long distances and don't stop often at passage
sites. They usually arrive late and leave early. Non-breeders may stay at
the wintering grounds all year, or summer at intermediate sites. They prefer
to winter on inland wetlands, both fresh and brackish, sometimes in large
numbers of several hundred. In Singapore, they are found on mudflats, sandy
shores, ponds, reservoirs and canals.
Status and threats: Marsh Sandpipers
are particularly threatened by the overuse of insecticides and herbicides
because they tend to forage in cultivated wetlands such as ricefields.
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 112: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 229-230: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 55: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagram, number of species).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 74: habits, description, status in
Singapore, and lovely drawings of the birds).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 121: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- David Rosair and
David Cottridge, "Photographic Guide to the Shorebirds of the
World", Facts on File, 1995 (p. 112: photos of flight, adults-breeding
and non-breeding, and juvenile).
- Peter Hayman (et.
al), "Shorebirds: An Identification Guide to the Waders of the
World", Christopher Helm, 1986 (p. 324-25: identification,
distribution, habits, movements, diagrams).