Sanderlings – The Original Wave Runner

Sanderlings amuse me. If you have ever watched them run to or from waves on a beach, you know what I mean. They run in front of the wave as it advances onto shore. Then, they immediately change direction and chase the wave as it retreats.

Sanderlings running as a wave advances onto shore. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/1000. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

While their obsessive wave-chasing antics entertain me, it means survival to the Sanderling. They probe the sand for their prey in this wetted edge or in the very shallow waters of the wave itself.

A Sanderling probes the sand in the shallow water of a retreating wave. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/1000. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

Sanderlings feed on small crabs and other small invertebrates while on their wintering grounds.

This Sanderling caught a crab and is on the run. Another Sanderling gave chase to try to steal a meal. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/1000. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

Sanderlings are extreme long-distance migrants. They only breed on the high Arctic tundra but overwinter along sandy beaches around the world. Some non-breeding Sanderlings can be seen on our North American beaches during the summer, avoiding the long-distance migration.

Special Note: I was not able to send a blog post last week due to our local energy company, PG&E, shutting off power. Under Red Flag fire conditions, they shut off power to reduce the risk of their electrical utilities starting a fire. PG&E, the same company featured in the Erin Brockovich movie (starring Julia Roberts), has neglected maintenance on their power lines; both failing to update equipment and removing woody vegetation under their overhead lines. Around 1.3 million people in the bay area were affected by the power shutdown.

A bad wildfire did start north of me, referred to as the Kincade fire. While investigations are still underway, it is believed that PG&E is responsible for this fire. The fire did not threaten me but I was without power for almost 3 days. There is a big bay between the fire and me. Therefore, I was not concerned about the fire itself. However, the smoke did cause very poor air quality by the lighthouse for one day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top