Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
The most common and widely distributed wader on Svalbard. Occurs throughout the island group, but is most numerous on Spitsbergen island and south-east Svalbard. Often seen in flocks in the tidal areas in river deltas and on beaches during migration time. In the inland often single birds, in pairs or in small groups. The population probably exceeds 6000 pairs.
Features: 19-22 cm. ♂=♀, but the female has a somewhat longer bill. They are in summer plumage during the time that they normally are on Svalbard. The young birds resemble the adults. Has a wide range of calls. The most usual is a short «plytt» or «kvitt», often repeated in flight. During display in spring and summer (often in flight) a complex buzzing sound with some lengthy whining calls that can bring to mind a Dunlin in display flight.
Breeding: Lays the eggs in a hollow usually on vegetated ground. Incubates closely, and if it is frightened away from the nest or small young, often pretends to be injured while it runs jerkily away from the threat.