A post-beach-crowd evening walk today yielded 49 Sanderlings between Cape May Point State Park and 2nd Avenue in Cape May City. This is the first significant accumulation of the little clockwork toys I've seen in Cape May since early June, and an exciting development. Think of where these birds have been since spring - I believe the nearest nesting area for Sanderling is Southhampton Island at the north end of Hudson Bay!
Nearly all were still largely in the lovely orangy breeding dress that can cause the unwary to think they're looking at a Red-necked Stint. Sanderlings behave much differently than stints, or "peep" as we call that group on this side of the Atlantic, and are really much larger, weighing more than twice as much as the average Semi-palmated Sandpiper, for example.