Saturday, May 14, 2011
Purple Sandpiper in St. Agatha
The causeway is a low rocky road with little vegetation. It links the island which is part of St. Agatha with the eastern (Madawaska) shore.
This little shorebird really doesn't have much that sets it apart from other sandpipers. Note the heavily gray-streaked head with the dark crescent in front of the eye. Also the orange-ish base to a medium length dark bill. The legs are short and orangey-yellow. The belly was relatively unmarked and the neck and sides were streaky. On the back were some fresh black feathers with white margins. (My books say that if you could pluck one of these back feathers and hold it up to the light, you would see a deep purple iridescence that gives this sandpiper its name.)
When a rattly truck went by, the bird flushed and flew a bit and I was able to see the tail was light with a dark black center. I didn't notice any pattern of the wings.