Purple Sandpiper – first and last dates

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor

Earlier records are summarised in Purple Sandpiper 1994

In some bird reports, a distinction is made between the dates of overwintering birds, and those passing through. See the individual reports for details.

YearLastFirstNotes
19907 May18 JulyUp to  24 at Skomer in Nov
19919 May12 AugMax 7 Skomer in Oct and 7 Skokholm in Nov.
199228 April20 Julymax. 33 Skomer 10th Apr
19938 May6 Julymax 22 Skomer 19 Mar
199418 May29 JulyMax 23 Skomer on 23 Nov
19953 May10 AugMax 7 in Jan, Sept & Nov
19967 May27 JulyMax 24 Skomer in Nov
199722 Feb17 SeptMax 10 at the Smalls 26 Sept
199812 May10 AugBTO non-estuarine coastal survey,
Amroth to Cemaes Hd. 11 birds recorded
199912 May3 JulyMax 14 Skomer in March
200026 May8 AugMax 6 Skokholm in May
200119 May10 SeptMax 9 Strumble Head in September
200225 Feb2 AugMax 7 fishguard Harbour in December
20036 May11 SeptMax 10 Fishguard Harbour in January
20042 April14 SeptMax 5 Fishguard Harbour in February
20051 April30 JulyMax 10 Ramsey Oct – Dec
200611 MayAugustMax 18 Ramsey Oct – Nov
2007MayJulyMax 23 Ramsey in October.
Interesting record of 12 at sea, 5 miles south of St Ann’s Head on 24 October
200815 May29 AugMax 12 Ramsey in February
2009MayJulyMax 17 Ramsey in September
2010MayAugustMax 12 on Skomer in May
2011AprilJulyMax 12 Ramsey 26 March
20129 MayOctoberMax 21 Skomer in February
201330 May28 AugMax 7 Broadhaven in February
201413 May13 AugMax 9 Fishguard outer breakwater in February
201512 April9 AugMax 18 Skomer in March
201624 Feb Max 7 Fishguard outer breakwater in February
201713 May5 SeptMax 45 on the Smalls in April
20185 May21 AugMax 40 Skomer in April
2019MarchOctoberMax 7 Skokholm in October
2020March24 JulyMax 10 Monkstone in December

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper – 1994

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor

Mathew (1894) described the Purple Sandpiper as an autumn visitor while Lockley et al. (1949) refer to it occurring all around the year, even in summer.

It can be very inconspicuous as it picks over weed- covered rocks and delves into the nooks and crannies of the Pembrokeshire coastline at places such as the Furzenips, Little Haven, Fishguard breakwater and all of the islands. Mathew mentions that it “may easily escape observation, and only a naturalist familiar with its habits would be competent to detect it”. It is, therefore, difficult to assess how many are present but records suggests a total of about 40 are present in small groups of up to ten along the mainland coast, and that the offshore islands of Grassholm, Skokholm and Skomer may contain as many again, as does the Smalls, where up to 47 have been counted. Numbers are highest between November and April but a few can be found throughout the year.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper – 1980s winter

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor

he BTO winter atlas showed that Purple Sandpipers were noted in three coastal 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The blue colour of a 10km square represents 1-10 birds seen in a day.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper – 1949

Calidris maritima maritima

“An autumn visitor; not uncommon” – Mathew.  Tracy called is rather scarce, but Dix considered “about as numerous as the Knot”.  It is found all the year round along the rocky coast, even in summer, and is often very tame; generally singly or in small numbers at midsummer, and more numerous in winter.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society

More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper – 1894

Tringa striata – An autumn visitor; not uncommon.

Mr. Tracy writes : “Rather scarce;” but Mr. Dix considered it “about as numerous as the Knot.” This species is never to be met with in large flocks, and but seldom is seen on the sands or oozes. Anyone who wants to meet with it must search the pebbly shores, on the rocks just above the water’s edge, where two or three of these Sandpipers may be found running briskly along hunting for food.

Even in places where it is not uncommon, the Purple Sandpiper does not appear to be often shot, and it is very rarely brought in to the birdstuffers. It is not in Mr. Mathias’ list. From its habit of running at the base of the cliffs among the rocks, with whose tints the colour of its plumage greatly corresponds, this bird may easily escape observation, and only a naturalist familiar with its habits would be competent to detect it.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor

Purple Sandpiper – first and last dates

Table of last and first dates of this winter visitor since 1990, plus an indication of the highest numbers recorded. All extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

Purple Sandpiper – 1994

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor Mathew (1894) described the Purple Sandpiper as an autumn visitor while Lockley et al. (1949) refer to it occurring all around the year, even in summer. It can be very inconspicuous as it picks over weed- covered rocks and delves into the nooks and crannies of the Pembrokeshire […]

Purple Sandpiper – 1980s winter

Calidris maritima – PIBYDD DU – Principally a winter visitor he BTO winter atlas showed that Purple Sandpipers were noted in three coastal 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The blue colour of a 10km square represents 1-10 birds seen in a day. More about the Purple Sandpiper in Pembrokeshire

Purple Sandpiper – 1949

Calidris maritima maritima “An autumn visitor; not uncommon” – Mathew.  Tracy called is rather scarce, but Dix considered “about as numerous as the Knot”.  It is found all the year round along the rocky coast, even in summer, and is often very tame; generally singly or in small numbers at midsummer, and more numerous in […]