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Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper
Photo Information
Copyright: Denis Doucet (Sawwhet) Silver Note Writer [C: 8 W: 0 N: 92] (409)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-12-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300s, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED + TC- 20EII
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-10-24 16:43
Viewed: 2657
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Purple Sandpiper / Bécasseau violet
(Calidris maritima)

Size/taille: 20-30 cm

Typically a species of rocky coastal areas in winter, the Purple Sandpiper is said to be among the most boreal of shorebirds (waders) in the world. It gets its name from the feathers on its back which, in the right light, show a purple sheen (such as seen in the image here). So, I was very pleasantly surprised when, along with about 2000 gulls of five different species, two of these beautiful "winter" shorebirds were found happily dining on lobster and crab and other bounty from the sea that washed up on the sandy beaches and barrier islands at Kouchibouguac National Park after a major storm on Dec 27th-28th, 2010. I guess the tremendous amount of food washed up on shore created some conditions just too good to pass up!

The two Purple Sandpiper individuals were found during the annual Kouchibouguac National Park Christmas Bird Count (CBC), held on December 29th, 2010. Over 40 species of birds and over 3000 individual birds were seen by the 15 participants. All in all, it was a marvelous day, and also a first time doing a CBC for my eleven year-old daughter. She thoroughly enjoyed her birding experience in the wilds of the park!

About the image: Very close to the shortest day of the year in mid-latitudes, the light angle is quite low and "warm" throughout most of the short day. I got down on my belly for this shot and got pretty sandy and salty, but it was worth it. The warmth of the light in the image belies the actual air temperature, which was well below freezing, with a wicked wind chill to go along with it!

Mariol, marius-secan, maaciejka has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Mariol Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 15 N: 1654] (8221)
  • [2011-10-24 18:08]

Hi Denis,
This is a good bird, rare around Toronto. We see it sometime during the winter on the icy rocks on the shore of Lake Ontario.
Your picture is presenting it very well and it worth all your efforts. Birds' photography has never been an easy job. TFS
Regards, Mario

Hello Denis
Beautiful bird and beautiful photo with excellent composition and wonderful colors. Very good sharpness too!

Hello Denis,
As ususal a spectacular capture of a lovely species.
Impressive details, colors and great sharpness.
Exceptional focus and very good clarity.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-25 10:04]

Hello Denis.
Lovely shot. Good POV and very well composed. Nice colours. Sharpness and detail is spot on.
Best regards Siggi

Hi Denis,
very good depth of field and sharpness. Amazing colours. Very good composition.
Thanks for sharing,

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