© Yuriy Malkov
The adult Marsh Sandpipers have grey crown and nape. Fore-mantle and shoulders are brownish-grey; all feathers are with black core-spots and grayish edges; but shoulder feathers have cross oblique streaks. Rear-mantle and uppertail are white, tail upper-coverts are with brownish barred. Underparts are white dark mottled on craw, fore-breast and flanks. Primaries are black-brownish, secondaries are grey-brownish with narrow white edges; inner secondaries are with cross strips. Core of first primaries is white. Axillaries are white. Tail feathers are white; outer and middle of them are with cross dark pattern. Bill is black, thin, almost straight. Legs are greenish. Eyes are dark-brownish. In winter plumage upperparts are without dark spots; forehead, head-flanks and underparts are all-white. Juveniles have darker brownish upperparts; with broad buffy edges of feathers. Tips of tail feathers are buffy. Sizes: wing 126-142 mm, tarsus 44-58 mm, bill 35-43 mm. Weight: 60-87 gram.
Marsh Sandpiper breeds in northern half of plain Kazakhstan, in south to Kamysh-Samarskiye lakes, lower reaches of Irgiz, upper reaches of Nura, Zharma station, Batyk village on Irtysh river, probably in Kalbinskiy Altai and in Pavlodarskoye Trans-Irtysh area. On migration occurs throughout on plains.
Marsh Sandpiper is common, in places rare breeding migrant. Marsh Sandpiper lives mostly in steppes. It inhabits wet meadows, grassy shores of steppe lakes and rivers, both salty and fresh. It lives also in grassy and tussock marshes, often with bushes. On migration it occurs in grassy shores of lakes, on springs, sometimes near the road pools. Marsh Sandpiper flies fast and easy; in flying its legs are as stretched as on Stork. In short distance flying or soaring over raptor Marsh Sandpiper often doesn't tuck legs. It good floats and walks. Near the nest or nestlings Marsh Sandpiper cries almost incessant. In spring it sings. On migration and dispersals it often forms large flights, and easy joins with other waders. It eats mostly different water insects and its larvas; rarer little cancers, sometimes it picks no water insects. Marsh Sandpiper appears in end March - early April in southern areas, and in April - early May in northern ones, in small groups or flocks up to three-four dozen birds. Flying flocks contained only Marsh Sandpipers; but on feeding them easy join with other waders. Migration finishes in early June in southern areas. Nest is built on ground in shallow hole lined with dry grass, but sometimes on hummock surrounded by water, or on remains of last year hay. Marsh Sandpiper often breeds in loose colonies of some tens pairs; often in mixed colonies with other waders, mostly with Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank; often nests in colonies of Terns. Clutches of 4 eggs, in May – mid-June. Both parents incubate and care for juveniles, which hatch in June – early July, and begin to fly in end July. After beginning of juveniles' flying Marsh Sandpipers disperse by broods or join to flocks from several broods. Autumn dispersals begin early, in mid-July, when adults with moulting primaries fly in small groups. Dispersals fluently pass to migration. Juveniles migrate later, mostly in first half of August.
"Птицы Казахстана" том 2. Алма-Ата, 1962.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.
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