purple patch tick!

At the tail end of last year, I thought that I may have had a Purple Sandpiper fly past but couldn’t be sure so the whole episode was finished very quickly, but I remained hopeful.  It is not wholly unlikely that I would have these little crackers in the patch due to two facts.  They are seen regularly down the coast (that dratted Suffolk again) and on my patch (due to a rather large and controversial bit of civil engineering) there is a chuffing great stretch of artificially produced rockiness that is really very good habitat for Purple Sandpipers indeed, and for that matter Rock Pipits that also have failed to materialised.  I reckon it’s because the whole area is relatively new that their isn’t enough bugs and stuff to keep them intersted for long.  That said, just because they don’t fancy staying every day all winter, doesn’t mean that birds won’t drop by.  You may also know this to be true in general for a number of other species. 

So it was with immense pleasure that I found a Purple Sandpiper on the patch yesterday.  Another ker-ching! for the patch list.  Thankfully, due to my incredible fieldcraft skills (honed over many years in many inhospitable corners of the earth when that Mears lad was hanging on to my coat tails, natch), I managed to get close enough to get some incredible images.  And here is one of them…

…behold the patch tick!

a sandpiper doing beach

Top stuff eh?
What?
Pardon?
What do you mean it’s dead?
Okaaaay okay, maybe I’m being a little disingenuous about it’s patchtickability and no it doesn’t go on the patch list. Nonetheless, it is interesting as far as I’m concerned. 
The more astute amongst you may have noticed that it is headless.  I have a photo of it’s head.  It may end up on another post.  I also found another carcass of another wader.  I may post it, too.  What a thrill that will be!
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2 thoughts on “purple patch tick!

  1. I had a live Purple Sandpiper on the coast at Sheringham back in 2009. Sadly my ID skills weren’t as astute as yours, and I only realised it a week later when I showed Parus my pictures of Turnstones.

    “Wait a second, go back to that one sitting on its own on that rock. Are you SURE that’s a Turnstone?”

    Had some bloody good close-ups of it as well. Slightly embarrassing. But very much alive.

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