Volume 2020, Issue 96
  • E-ISSN: 27887138


The tide sweeps in fast. Tens of thousands of shorebirds jostle busily on the exposed mudflats, moving ever nearer till they are concentrated on the last few metres before the high tide covers the entire beach. Right at the forefront are the stars of the show – scurrying among the dunlins, plovers and other commoner waders are a few curious and precious Spoon-billed sandpipers or ‘Spoonies’, as they are affectionately known. They are recognized by their remarkable spoon-shaped bills and more hurried feeding behaviour, and there are only a few hundred left in the world. Suddenly the entire flock takes to the air, swings round in a dazzling cloud then heads inland to find high-tide roosts to wait till the tide recedes once again in a couple of hours.

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