Monday, 22 December 2008

Pectoral Sandpipers closer than we think?

The Yamal Peninsula (east of Ural Mountains) is at present cited as the most westerly breeding location of Pectoral Sandpiper. Evidence suggests however that they breed much closer to the UK than this, and indeed there could be a regular population within the limits of the Western Palaearctic. The high predictability of the arrival of adults in late summer, then juveniles in autumn indicates a relatively close breeding presence, as opposed to vagrancy from further off. Their arrival often noticeably coincides with late summer influxes of European breeding Dunlin. In 2008, of the 37 Pectoral Sandpipers in the UK between 3rd June-30th August, 12 arrived between 17th-21st July – mainly on the east coast. Dunlin also showed a peak at this time: 70 at Spurn on 10th July increased to 370 on 15th and 2000 on 16th, and 53 at Breydon Water on 8th July increased to 237 on 15th July and 410 by 23rd July. The arrival of Pectoral Sandpipers apparently regardless of weather conditions suggests they breed relatively close to the UK. Further support came from three different displaying Pectoral Sandpipers in late May-late June 2006 and 2007 in Norway (Birding World 21:26; Birding World 20:334-335). The challenge is now to locate a regular WP population.

Thank you to for use of their information.

1 comment:

Mark said...

even closer than that! A pair bred in north east Scotland in errmmm...2004 I think. It's in the BB rare breeders report.

Nice blog! I'll get round to putting a link to it from mine soon.

All the best,

Mark Lewis