The Wood Sandpiper is another wading bird that migrates to South Africa from its northern breeding grounds to escape the harsh cold of winter in those parts. When they’re here, between August and May, they are one of the most numerous waders to be seen and can be expected at almost any freshwater habitat in any province.
Wood Sandpipers are usually encountered singly, in pairs or in small groups and seldom occurs at estuaries, river mouths or along the beach, preferring freshwater marshes, dams and temporary pans with inundated vegetation. They feed mainly on aquatic and terrestrial worms, insects, crustaceans, small frogs and small fish, with seeds of various plants being a minor addition to their diet.
Adults measure about 20cm in length, with a wingspan of ±55cm and a weight of 60-80g.
With a total population estimated at over 3 million, distributed across much of Asia and Europe in the breeding season and migrating to Africa, tropical Asia and Australia during the northern winter, the IUCN lists the Wood Sandpiper as being of least concern.