From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ” The purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-colored waterside birds. The specific maritima is from Latin and means “of the sea,” from mare, “sea.”
Adults have short yellow legs and a medium thin dark bill with a yellow base. The body is dark on top with a slight purplish gloss and mainly white underneath. The breast is smeared with grey, and the rump is black. They measure 20–22 cm (7.9–8.7 in) in length and 42–46 cm (17–18 in) across the wings, and weight is from 50–105 g (1.8–3.7 oz)
Their breeding habitat is the northern tundra on Arctic islands in Canada and coastal areas in Greenland and northwestern Europe. They nest on the ground either elevated on rocks or in a lower damp location. The males make several scrapes; the female chooses one and lays 3 or 4 eggs. The male takes the primary responsibility for incubation and tends the chicks. The young feed themselves.
They are late migrants and move to rocky ice-free Atlantic coasts in winter. Most go no further south than North Carolina and northern Portugal. They are relatively gregarious, forming small flocks, often with ruddy turnstones. This species is tame and approachable.
These birds forage on rocky coasts, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat arthropods and mollusks, also some plant material.”
Although their status is that of a least concerned species, however, the number of individuals cited has been decreasing due to loss of habitat.
Each year, it is getting harder to locate the species and the locations that I have found them in the past.
This is the blog that I was planning to write before I caught sick. The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) is a small Heron that breeds and southern Europe and the greater Middle East. Its wintering range is in Africa. I saw the species in the Chobe River, Botswana.
Uncommon to locally fairly common summer migrant to southern Europe from winter grounds in Africa and Iberia. Favors fresh marshes, lakes, and ponds with reeds and other surrounding vegetation. Tends to hunt rather sluggishly, hunched quietly at the edge of the water. At rest appears buffy brown overall, but in flight transforms to mostly white when white wings and tail revealed. Breeding adult has rich buffy neck; nonbreeding and immature have streaked neck.
Frogs are the favorite prey of Squacco Heron, but it also feeds on insects and fish.
It feeds along brooks and close to marshy waters, near cover. It adopts a horizontal posture when fishing.