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Monday, 4 February 2013

Purple Sandpiper

 It`s been a while since my last post,so with this in mind I made a determined effort to get out and about with the lens.The forecast for saturday was to be clear and bright,so 5.00am found me heading to the North Wales coast in anticipation of some action!I`d done a bit of research,prior to the 100 mile journey and knew that there was a good chance of encountering Purple Sandpiper and Snow Bunting.
 The Purple Sandpiper was a bird I hadn`t seen before and I was keen to obtain a few images.They are known to over winter in the same areas, so hopefully wouldn`t be too difficult to find.They are attracted to rocky outcrops and penninsulas especially those exposed to vigorous wave actions.
 They dart and run swiftly  over the seaweed laden rocks,feeding on small molluscs and crustaceans.A rather stout headed dumpy bird with short greenish legs,well adapted to this type of environment.
 After a good mile walk up the promenade I was becoming slightly despondent,the tide was in and I was struggling to find any signs of the Sandpipers.It was difficult trying to look on the seaward side of the barrage were they were sure to be .It was only the flick of a wing of one of the birds  that betrayed its presence to me and on investigation 4 birds were hidden amongst the rocks,bingo.They are one of the few birds that seem quite tame and a low approach got me within 10 metres of the party.
 A pleasent 15 mins was enjoyed with the waders, before I left them to go about their feeding,no doubt to stock up their reserves for the journey back to the  north.A few pairs breed in Scotland but they are primarily a bird of the high arctic, including Greenland/Iceland/Faeroes and Spitzbergen.One day, I hope to see them in their full breeding plummage in these far off places, but for the moment I was just happy to have spent time in their company on the North Welsh coast.Hope you enjoy the shots and thanks for dropping by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!