In highland heaths

Sendlingur – Purple Sandpiper – Calidris maritima (juv)

At this time of year young Purple Sandpipers are often seen in highland heaths and this year there are quite a lot of them despite a rather cold summer – or perhaps because of it.  In a short while they will be gathering for their flight to the coast.

Young birds

The Purple Sandpiper breeds in the Icelandic highlands and in a small area in Markarfljótsaurar, the estuary delta of the River Markarfljót.

Adult Purple Sandpiper

The Purple Sandpipers stay  in the highlands until frost and snow make it impossible for them to get their feed. Then they move down to the coast and stay there until spring arrives again.