The Sanderling (Calidris alba) is a small wading bird which breeds in the High Arctic during summer months. With the beginning of autumn, it migrates south and becomes a nearly cosmopolitan species with individuals spotted as far as South America, southern Africa, and Australia. The birds breed in areas of the coastal tundra and during migration they are most commonly seen on tidal flats, sandy beaches, or the shores of lakes. They feed mainly on invertebrates living in the sandy substrates, including crustaceans. Although they travel vast distances, the small birds can reach considerable ages with a maximum record of 18 years and 6 months! I have photographed these fascinating waders during a trip to the small German island Helgoland (September 2013) which lies in the middle of the North Sea and is famous for being visited by migrating birds.