I've contacted many experts including Pyle and no one has refuted that it is a Purple Sandpiper. Michael O'Brien and Kevin Karlson were most vocal with their confirmations on this bird.
Kevin Karlson (click link for bio http://www.kevintkarlson.com/bio
) who co-wrote the book "The Shorebird Guide" gave me permission to post his thoughts and accompanying photos below:
"Melissa, sorry for the delay, but I am working feverishly with Pete Dunne on a new book called Gulls Simplified, and have not been able to browse e-mail or play around with fun stuff all month. After reviewing your photos, I cannot see any reason why this is not a Purple Sandpiper. I was first cautious about the thick white wing stripe that is wider on Rock than Purple, but the attached shot of a flock of Purple Sandpipers in NJ show the variation on this feature, which should not be used in my opinion to confirm or deny either species. I then noted the wide gray borders to the mantle feathers, which is not typical of Purple in winter, but then found a photo of my own of an adult Purple that showed the identical mantle shading and pattern, so that is not a concern. The heavy wash of gray around the head and upper breast is fine for Purple and not typical of Rock, and the long bill with bright orange basal half is also a good feather for Purple and not Rock. I have attached a first winter Purple with yellowish bill base and legs for you to keep in your collection for future marginal birds, but I don't think this bird is marginal. I think it is a Purple Sandpiper." Kevin Karlson
All photos by Kevin Karlson and used with permission*