This afternoon John and I popped over to the harbour in Cobourg in anticipation of seeing yesterday's reported Purple Sandpiper.
The good news: it was still there.
The better news: there were now three of them.
The bad news: they were on the far side of the breakwater, which meant crawling over massive boulders to see them.
The good news/ bad news: just as Betsy and I were ready to take our lives in our hands and begin The Crawl, Dave Milsom informed us that they were no longer there.
The better news: Hawkeye John had located them in his scope, but way over by the lighthouse.
The even better news: we could drive there- hah!
The bestest news: the required Rock Climb to the end of the pier by the lighthouse was manageable and all three birds were there.
As I precariously balanced myself between some boulders, two of the three Purple Sandpipers foraged around below us on the rocks before eventually flying off:
One of my field guides quoted a succinct description of this species by Roger Tory Peterson: "portly, slaty, yellow legs; on rocks". Yup, that about sums it up!
As for the purple??? I don't think so. Although another field guide claims that one can see a purplish sheen to some back feathers....as if. Perhaps it's time to see a cataract surgeon???
Another important field marking is the narrow white eye-ring, but especially the yellowish base of the bill:
I also saw my first Long-tailed Ducks for the season, with their hauntingly beautiful "owl-omelet" melody drifting our way, as well as a Great Black-backed Gull.
Life was good today!