Not exactly purple, but for most of the year it does look distinctly bluish-grey. It is bigger and stockier than a Dunlin with a heavier, but otherwise similar, slightly down-curved bill. In winter their dark grey plumage can make them hard to detect against rocks and seaweed but they become paler on the lower belly and the yellow-orange feet and the yellow base to the bill provide welcome highlights. In summer plumage they confusingly gain lots of rufous-brown feathers and look like big, heavily streaked, yellow-legged Dunlins, a description which also applies to the juveniles. In flight they resemble a big, dark Dunlin.