Belongs to: winter waders

Purple sandpiper Calidris maritima

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: Oct to Apr

Key facts

Stocky shorebird exclusively of maritime habitat, often seen feeding on seaweed-covered rock

Habitat: coasts and very rarely inland

Winter visitor to all British coasts, breeding in Iceland and northern Scandinavia


Dark grey upperparts, pale below; yellowish legs and orange base to black bill; 20 cm

Feeds on seaweed-covered rock often in the company of turnstones, eating crustaceans and molluscs

Narrow wingbar in flight

© Alan Williams