The Common Sandpiper is found over the greater part of the Old World.
A few varieties of shore birds breed here, as the Western willet, the Bartramian sandpiper, and the longbilled curlew.
Of the peculiar genera only a few examples may be mentioned: Eurynorhynchus, the spoon-billed sandpiper of Siberia; Syrrhaptes, the sandgrouse of central Asia; Muscicapa of Europe.
To the latter belong the Greenshank and Redshank, as well as the Common Sandpiper, the " Summer-Snipe " above-mentioned, a bird hardly exceeding a skylark in size, and of very general distribution throughout the British Islands, but chiefly frequenting clear streams, especially those with a gravelly or rocky bottom, and mast generally breeding on the beds of sand or shingle on their banks.
Macularius, the " Peetweet," or Spotted Sandpiper, so called from its usual cry, or from the almost circular marks which spot its lower plumage.
Of other Totaninae,one of the most remarkable is that to which the inappropriate name of Green Sandpiper has been assigned, the Totanus or Helodromas ochropus of ornithologists, which differs (so far as is known) from all others of the group both in its osteology2 and mode of nidification, the hen laying her eggs in the deserted nests of other birds, - Jays, Thrushes or Pigeons, - but nearly always at some height (from 3 to 30 ft.) from the ground (Prot.
This sandpiper is characterized by its dark upper plumage, which contrasts strongly with the white of the lower part of the back and gives the bird as it flies much the look of a very large house-martin.
The so-called wood-sandpiper, T.
Next to the Dunlin and Knot the commonest British Tringinae are the Sanderling, Calidris arenaria (distinguished from every other bird of the group by wanting a hind toe), the Purple Sandpiper, T.
Striata or maritima, the Curlew-Sandpiper, T.
Fuscicollis, Bonaparte's sandpiper, with white upper tail-coverts inhabits Arctic America, but reaches the greater part of South America in winter, whilst T.
By some British writers the Tringinae have been indicated as " Stints," a term cognate with Stunt and wholly inapplicable to many of them, while American writers have restricted to them the name of " Sandpiper," and call the Totaninae, to which that name is especially appropriate, " Willets."
The broad-billed sandpiper, T.
The spoon-billed sandpiper, Eurinorhynchus pygmaeus, breeds in north-eastern Asia and N.W.