The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) is a small to medium wader, with a body length from 17cm to 22cm. It has a wingspan of 36 to 44 centimetres and weighs in at 65 grams. These small birds breed in northern Siberia, then before the harsh Arctic winter sets in, migrate to spend time in the Australian summer. They mostly end up in south-east Australia.
During the non-breeding season, most of the world’s population of the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers occur in Australia.
The above photo was taken at the end of October. It was my first sighting of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper for this approaching summer. I only observed the one bird at this time.
This morning, I returned to Lake Colac and was pleasantly surprised to see that the numbers of the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers had increased. There were about 12 or 13 birds feeding on this short section of shoreline – about 50 metres in length.
These waders will depart the non-breeding grounds of Australia in April next year. They will be one of the first waders to leave.
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