|Habitat and Ecology:
Behaviour This species is fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). It arrives on the breeding grounds from mid-May to mid-June where it nests in solitary pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and forages in small loose groups (Snow and Perrins 1998). From July to August the adults undergo a flightless moulting period on the coast close to the nesting areas before travelling to the wintering grounds in September and November (Hayman et al. 1986). During the non-breeding season the species is gregarious and usually forms small flocks of up to 250 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on Arctic coasts (Hayman et al. 1986) and in upland areas (Johnsgard 1981, Flint et al. 1984, Hayman et al. 1986), nesting close to the fringes of snow and ice (del Hoyo et al. 1996) on wet moss or barren rocky tundra with patches of lichen and Dryas spp., on rocky islands and islets or on shingle beaches (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It forages on dry tundra or along the moist margins of ponds, at the edges of melting snow-drifts and in areas of thick moss (Hayman et al. 1986). Non-breeding During the winter and on passage the species shows a preference for tidal rocky shores with strong wave action (Hayman et al. 1986) and suitable high-tide roosting areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996), often utilising artificial structures such as concrete sea defences and breakwaters (Hayman et al. 1986). In some northern areas (e.g. Svalbard) the species frequents mudflats, shingle beaches and coastal lagoons before and after breeding but before migrating south (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Breeding During the breeding season its diet consists largely of insects (e.g. adult, larval and pupal Diptera, Ichneumon wasps and aphids) and Collembola (springtails), as well as spiders, gastropods, annelid worms and some plant material (e.g. leaves, buds, berries and seeds) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding On the coast the species feeds predominantly upon molluscs (especially gastropods Littorina spp. and mussels Mytilus spp.) as well as insects (e.g. beetles and Diptera), small crustaceans (e.g. amphipods), annelid worms (del Hoyo et al. 1996), small fish (Johnsgard 1981) and algae (Enteromorpha spp.) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a small scrape positioned in the open on tundra moss (del Hoyo et al. 1996), in hummocky tundra (Flint et al. 1984) close to tufts of Dryas spp. or Arctostaphylos spp. (Johnsgard 1981), or in rocky or pebbly areas between cliffs (Flint et al. 1984).