Purple Sandpiper
Calidris maritima

– small wader, roughly size of Dunlin
– nocturnal migrant, to lesser extend diurnal
– migrates singly or in small flocks


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2636, 01/11/2010, Helgoland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– dull dark grey head and breast relatively sharp contrasting to white belly and flanks with only little markings
– base of bill and feet orange


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, 2CY
BIF2863, 22/01/2018, Cuxhaven, Germany, Mathias Putze
– upperside relatively uniform dark grey except for the narrow shining white wingbar
– aged as 2CY by pale fringed wing coverts


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2857, 22/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– inner secondaries are white (cf. other Calidris sp.)
– all rectrices grey (gradually becoming darker towards centre), cf. Dunlin


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, AD and 2CY
BIF2858, 19/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– AD (e.g. lowest to the right) more uniformly coloured lacking the pale fringes to the wing coverts
– primaries with only little contrast between dark trailing edge and paler base, cf. Dunlin


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2859, 19/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, 2CY
BIF2864, 22/01/2018, Cuxhaven, Germany, Mathias Putze


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2860, 19/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– very narrow white greater coverts bar
– dark divide of the white rump (darkest area of the upperside) clearly broader than in other Calidris sp.


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2861, 19/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– in certain light the dark centre of the rump can appear black


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
BIF2637, 01/11/2010, Helgoland, Germany, Mathias Putze


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
BIF2638, 01/11/2010, Helgoland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– very dull grey overall


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima (to the right)
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp.
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
BIF2862, 19/08/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– note the different proportion and shorter bill compared to Dunlin

voice:
– most common on migration are single or fast series of dissimilar elements
– calls usually consist of noise parts and slightly modulated elements with harmonic partials
– clear, screechy or scratchy impression – depending on the length and quality of the calls
– series of calls may resemble Dunlin or Curlew Sandpiper – especially at greater distance or under bad acoustic circumstances


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, calls in flight
BIF2870, 06/04/2015, Cuxhaven, Germany, Patrick Franke

comparison species:
Broad-billed Sandpiper (v)
Curlew Sandpiper (v) (a)
Dunlin (v) (a)
Common Sandpiper (v)
Little Stint (v)

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