20cm to 22cm
40cm to 44cm
60g to 75g
The purple sandpiper is a medium-sized wading bird. They are darker and bigger in size than a dunlin. Upperparts are mainly grey and lower parts being more of a whitish colour. Legs are short and a vibrant orange and beaks are slightly curved downwards. When flying they display thin white wing-stripes.
Purple Sandpipers are generally winter visitors to the rocky coasts of UK, but a few pairs do nest in Scotland. You'll find the majority of these birds in areas like Shetland, Orkney, in northern England and the east coast of Scotland. You won't see much south of Yorkshire, until areas like Cornwall and Devon.
Their diets consist of winkles, crustaceans, insects, spiders and plants.
Belonging to a group of birds generally called waders or shorebirds, the common sandpiper prefers freshwater habitats as opposed to saltwater locations.