Friday, 4 November 2016


Purple sandpipers are more often seen pecking about in seaweed on rocky beaches than inland, but this bird has spent most of the week providing excellent  close-up views at Covenham Reservoir, near Louth in Lincolnshire.

Mainly dark grey above and whitish below, the species'  beak is slightly down-curved and the  short bright orange legs are distinctive.

According to the British Trust for Ornithology, diverse populations of this sandpiper winter in Britain and Ireland

Those in the north and west originate from breeding grounds on  tundra in Arctic islands, in Canada and in coastal areas of Greenland

Those found on the eastern side of the  UK are more likely to come have come from North-eastern Europe, including Scandinavia

The species is thought to be in decline but it is probably overlooked because it is well camouflaged when feeding on seaweed covered rocks, not infrequently  in the company of turnstones

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