Saturday, December 19, 2015

Purple Sandpiper

"Calidris maritima" by Andreas Trepte - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons
Saw about eight of these little chaps milling about on the lowest parts of the east arm of Newhaven harbour. They are funny to look at with their short legs and dumpy bodies. The slightly down turned beak and beady eye gives them a somewhat shifty appearance. There's something incongruous about their habit of pootling about where the mighty ocean crashes into the land right next to them. The Purple Sandpiper, Calidris maritima, isn't particularly purple even in its breeding plumage. It breeds on Arctic islands and most don't come as far south as Sussex. Their loss from this county is possible with continued global warming, although some regularly overwinter in Portugal.

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