Thursday, 19 April 2018

Purple Sandpipers - "Zugunruhe"

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018


Belated Post:
The Purple Sandpipers from Friday's visit to Hengistbury Head were so good I thought they deserved a post of their own. 

These were actually a little trickier than usual to locate at first as they were on one of the furthest groynes along the beach and kept themselves low and out of sight hiding below the top line of rocks. Stuart and I moved in to position as the tide was coming in and just got in amongst this group of 28 individuals, which to date my highest count of this species at any one. 

I believe that this build up in numbers was due to northward migrants coming in joining the resident wintering birds. They appeared to have put on weight mass since I previously saw them and they had also became very territorial when feeding and vocal to each other. They were very jittery and active running, calling and chasing each other plus a little aggressive when feeding. 

I think this could have been Zugunruhe. Zugunruhe is a German term consisting of  the words Zug (movemigration) and Unruhe (anxiety, restlessness). In ethology it describes anxious behavior in migratory animals, especially in birds during the normal migration period. 

Whilst we was here the sun decided to show itself and so the light improved and so I grabbed the opportunity to get some shots of these cool birds. 

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Purple Sandpiper - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

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