This wonderful book describes the fascinating lives of the two most ubiquitous shorebirds in the world. Between them the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) make use of a large part of the world’s terrestrial habitat and they exhibit many of the exciting features of shorebirds.
As the birds arrive on the breeding ground, their displays are spectacular and their sounds are an exciting announcement of springtime. Unusually, the Spotted Sandpiper appears to be the only bird in the world where the female is the territory holder, laying many clutches of eggs, while the male of the Common Sandpiper holds the territory, has one mate, and shares most duties.
They stay on the breeding grounds only as long as is essential to reproduce before making a migration southwards to a broad range of non-breeding homes from Central and South America through Africa, India, and eastwards to Australia with vagrants reaching as far as Tristan da Cunha and New Zealand. The Common Sandpiper has also been recorded breeding in East Africa and wintering in Scotland so their flexibility is amazing.
The author has spent over 40 years studying the lives of these fantastic birds and provides a wealth of information including their breeding behaviour, migrations, distribution, food sources, habitats and their history from 1950 to 36 million years ago.
This beautiful book will hopefully stimulate others to watch these worldwide birds more appreciatively and add to our knowledge.
This will be of great appeal to all ornithologists, as well as anyone with a specific interest in shorebirds and also the natural world.
‘…a fascinating insight into the lives of the two Actitis species. It’s almost as if the reader is allowed to sit on a bank with the author and share intimate moments with these birds. Wader Tale Blog
‘Much of this fascinating information will be new to general UK birders. Throughout, there are clear and concise tables, maps, and many well-chosen images on both species… The author’s style here is relaxed and reveals a true affection for his study species and their habitats – he has produced a great addition to all birdwatchers’ libraries, amateur and professionals alike’. Scottish Birds
‘…this book will be appreciated by many wader and riverine enthusiasts. I am glad we have it’. Birdwatch
‘…this would be perfect for anyone wanting to know these birds better…’ The Birder's Library
‘…the book is a real compendium of information on the two species and will be a very useful addition to any shorebirder’s library’. British Birds
‘This delightful book brings all aspects of their behaviour and ecology to life… …this is an excellent book that makes the most of the long-term studies on Common Sandpipers undertaken in the UK by the author… …is highly internationally relevant… I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in finding out more about these two fascinating species’. BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
‘…clearly authoritative. The layout is pleasing, logical and easy to navigate. …an easy read and sufficiently attractive to dip into…’ Cambrian Ornithological Society
‘…I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an attractive softback book… The graphics are refreshingly original, adding greatly to the personal feel of the book…just the right amount of information, presented in an interesting and engaging way’. Sussex Ornithological Society Newsletter
‘For those with a serious interest in either of these species’. The Birdbooker Report
‘…is brim-full of photographs, sketches and graphs illustrating the points being made by the author, which make it a more informative read. The author ha crammed 40 years’ experience of studying the live of these birds into a book which will undoubtedly give pleasure and knowledge to most birders’. Wildlife Detective, The blog of Alan Stewart
‘This beautiful book describe the fascinating life of the two most popular species of wading birds in the world’. Alauda
'a highly impressive book by Phil Holland, a gifted writer and an expert on both species... This entertainingly informative book'. Grimsby News
'This authoritative and entertainingly-written study is full of such insights'. The Wryneck