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Purple or Rock Sandpiper, Svalbard?

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Old Friday 13th July 2018, 22:09   #1
Golfer1
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Purple or Rock Sandpiper, Svalbard?

This bird was with a group of Purple sandpipers, but much paler with the brighter orange patch on top of the head. Is it a colour varient of the Purple sandpiper?
Thanks
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Old Friday 13th July 2018, 23:09   #2
Jeff hopkins
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I think it's a Rock Sandpiper.
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Old Friday 13th July 2018, 23:16   #3
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Where in the arctic was the bird observed?
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Old Saturday 14th July 2018, 08:03   #4
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At Gråhuken, Svalbard.
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Old Saturday 14th July 2018, 08:41   #5
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Not a Purple Sandpiper in breeding plumage? If it was a Rock Sandpiper it would be a first for the WP.....

(its nice to include the date and location on ID requests - it helps )

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Old Saturday 14th July 2018, 08:48   #6
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That dark belly patch does hint at Rock, and while there's no WP records, it is a species that could turn up, particularly with arctic ice barriers disappearing, and Svalbard is the sort of place one might turn up. The only question is whether Purple ever shows any similar dark belly patch.


Of course some suggest the two should be lumped into one species . . .
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Old Saturday 14th July 2018, 13:47   #7
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The photo was taken on 4th July.
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Old Saturday 14th July 2018, 16:36   #8
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Well, I'm glad I didn't know it was Svalbard, because I probably would have just agreed with Purple

Seriously, the bill just strikes me as wrong for purple...too long and downcurved, IMO.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 01:49   #9
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I can't find a photo of Purple Sandpiper looking quite like this bird. Are there any other photos, especially with the other birds?
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 13:47   #10
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Sorry the birds tended to hide among the stones and driftwood, so hard to get a photo of them together. But I attach a different angle of the mystery bird and one of the 'normal' looking Purple Sandpipers. All the others looked like this one, and the mystery bird was obviously paler and brighter coloured than all the others in the group.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 14:06   #11
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What about Dunlin x Purps hybrid? Is that known at all?
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 17:37   #12
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I'm a little reluctant to contribute to this thread as I have no experience of rock sandpiper and have been caught-out by summer plumage purple sand in the past. That said, with Sibley and Shorebirds in front of me, I'm struggling to find any reasons why this isn't a rock sand.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 20:36   #13
Simon Wates
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Originally Posted by Golfer1 View Post
Sorry the birds tended to hide among the stones and driftwood, so hard to get a photo of them together. But I attach a different angle of the mystery bird and one of the 'normal' looking Purple Sandpipers. All the others looked like this one, and the mystery bird was obviously paler and brighter coloured than all the others in the group.
Thanks, nice photos and the bird in question does look great. Like Stuart, I've never seen a RS so not pushing an ID on this one. 11 posts here but 520 views and counting

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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 20:40   #14
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I'm struggling to find any reasons why this isn't a rock sand.
Me too.

Recommend changing the thread title to reflect a possible Rock Sandpiper in the WP - that'll get a lot more views and maybe some folk with more experience.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 21:23   #15
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Here are a couple of Rocks Sands from the Commanders in late June. The left hand one is quite a dull bird, but has some similarities with the Svalbard bird. Purple Sands are also very variable in summer plumage, but I'm not sure I've seen one like this..

cheers, alan
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Old Monday 16th July 2018, 00:07   #16
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I'm another that's been watching the thread but cautious to comment because I have no experience.
Just to play Devil's advocate, I would have expected Rock Sandpiper to show more of a black belly patch (there's not much here, and I'm not sure how much is actually staining), and I'm struggling to find pictures that show a similar head pattern - most have an isolated cheek patch and pale around the eye and lores, whereas the posted bird shows dark lores and eyestripe connected to the cheek patch. It's also structurally different from the birds Alan has posted, especially the longer bill).

So I'd lean towards a pale Purple Sandpiper, but as I said I have no experience...
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Old Monday 16th July 2018, 00:07   #17
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Me too.

Recommend changing the thread title to reflect a possible Rock Sandpiper in the WP - that'll get a lot more views and maybe some folk with more experience.
I've added a link from the European Rarities thread too with a request for comments.
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Old Monday 16th July 2018, 07:20   #18
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https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...opean+rarities

post 5058 - didn't have the time to scrutinize all characters and also lack personal experience with rock sandpiper, so i'm curious of the outcome and hope that a wader expert from the other side of the pond could give his/her expertize!
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Old Monday 16th July 2018, 18:08   #19
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What about Dunlin x Purps hybrid? Is that known at all?
There was a suspected one at Cley back in the 90s or something. Might have been in Birding World but can't remember for sure
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Old Tuesday 17th July 2018, 13:18   #20
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Originally Posted by lou salomon View Post
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...opean+rarities

post 5058 - didn't have the time to scrutinize all characters and also lack personal experience with rock sandpiper, so i'm curious of the outcome and hope that a wader expert from the other side of the pond could give his/her expertize!

Several further comments on this bird on the European Rarities thread now


Could an Admin copy or move them across here, please?
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