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I was birdwatching in Workington,Cumbria,NW England on 15th Nov 2011..nothing much was happening apart from gulls so I took a walk on the harbour breakwater and at the far end I came across this lot resting on the rocks…they are Purple Sandpipers, the first I’d seen this year.
Sony Alpha 350 DSLR,Tamron 70-300 zoom at 300mm
The purple sandpiper ( Calidris maritima ) is a medium-sized wading bird 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.(Source RSPB )