Saturday, 28 March 2015
The purple sandpiper is a medium-sized wading birds that is larger, stockier and darker than a dunlin. It is mainly dark grey above and whitish below. It has a downcurved beak and short bright orange legs. In flight it shows a thin white wing-stripe. A couple of pairs nest in Scotland, but this species is mainly a winter visitor to almost any rocky coast in the UK. Most are found in Orkney, Shetland and along the east coast of Scotland and northern England - it is scarce south of Yorkshire, other than Devon and Cornwall. The breeding areas in Scotland are kept secret to protect the birds from egg thieves and disturbance. (LINK)
Friday, 27 March 2015
, In summer it has silver and black spotted upperparts, a black face, neck and belly and in winter, it loses the black feathers and takes on a browny-grey look. In both plumages, the rump is white and in flight in winter it shows distinctive black 'armpits'. Like most plovers it stands very upright and tends to run and then suddenly stop to feed. It is generally seen in small numbers, although flocks can form when there is a high tide.(LINK)
Orange legs and (stout) orange bill with black tip confirm that this is indeed Ringed Plover. Little
Ringed Plover has duller (pinkish?) legs and finer all-dark bill (plus yellow ring around eye).
The UK's heaviest duck, and its fastest flying. It is a true seaduck, rarely found away from coasts where its dependence on coastal molluscs for food has brought it into conflict with mussel farmers. Eiders are highly gregarious and usually stay close inshore, riding the swell in a sandy bay or strung out in long lines out beyond the breaking waves. It is an Amber List species because of its winter concentrations.