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Friday, 20 January 2012

Purple Sandpipers

Purple Sandpipers, near Killshannig, November 2011 (Davey Farrar).

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Purple Sandpipers, Rough Point, 16th January 2012 (Michael O'Clery).

Despite an extensive rocky coastline, Purple Sandpipers are scarce or even rare in Co. Kerry away from the main wintering grounds around the Magharees. Here, counts of 40 or more are regular, with 70 seen in November 2011 - the highest count there for several years. Away from the Magharees area, the recent Atlas results show only a few records around Tarbert and Black Rock just to the east, and a few in Smerwick Harbour at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula. No birds have been recorded recently from the Kenmare Bay or Waterville areas where large areas of habitat would seem to be suitable. Small flocks sometimes linger around Rough Point and on Illauntannig island well into May.