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.
The Purple Sandpiper breeds in the Icelandic highlands and in a small area in Markarfljótsaurar, the estuary delta of the River Markarfljót.
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.
The summer has been exceptionally good in Iceland and its effects can be seen in both fauna and flora in the interior. Golden Plovers, Ringed Plovers and Purple Sandpipers are common breeding birds in the highlands and for them life has been good. Breeding was very successful and when summer is coming to an end bigger groups than in recent years can be seen all over the Icelandic highlands.
The photos are from Veiðivötn (Fishing Lakes) in the southern interior.
The Purple Sandpiper is a breeding bird in the Icelandic highlands but during the winter time it resides along the coast.
In the beginning of August I came across this Purple Sandpiper with its two chicks in Veiðivötn (Fishing Lakes) in the southern interior. They move down to the sea once frost and snow make it impossible for them to get to their feed.