Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones at Port Eynon, Gower

Saturday, April 10, 2010 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


It has been over a week since my last posting and this has mostly been down to spending four days camping over the Bank Holiday weekend. We stayed just north of Fishguard and considering the weather forecast before we left had an amazing time. Ill put up some more detailed posts and photographs covering what we got up to later this weekend.

As for this post I wanted to share some pictures that I took on Thursday night. The sun was out and it was even verging on warm, so after work we headed down to Port Eynon on Gower to soak up some of the rays. The beach was surprisingly busy with families playing football and cricket as we walked across the sand (of which there was substantially more than we usually see there after years of erosion). Some movement on the shoreline caught my attention as a group of fifteen or so Turnstone's were busily feeding as the tide retreated. I managed to get close enough for my camera to be in some sort of acceptable range partly through stealth and partly by crawling across the rocks like a fool. It was at this point I realised that one of the group was different. It was my first Purple Sandpiper of the year, and in fact the whole winter. It was also a new species for me at Port Eynon having only previously seen these birds at Worms Head. Anyway on with the pictures.

12197 - Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone at Port Eynon
A great comparison shot between a Turnstone (left) and a Purple Sandpiper (right)

12194 - Turnstone at Port Eynon, Gower 12201 - Turnstone at Port Eynon, Gower
12198 - Turnstone at Port Eynon, Gower 12199 - Purple Sandpiper Conflict
(Left) Turnstone (Right) Two Purple Sandpipers take offence to each other company

I am particularly pleased with the way that these came out considering the sun was just going down and the shutter speed was way too low. The bottom right picture shows two of the Purple Sandpipers engaging in a bit of banter. I was particularly surprised by this as I hadn't realised that there were two there until that moment. This little outing has also convinced me further that I need to upgrade to an SLR. With a camera that can cope with low light better and a longer lens I would have been able to get some very nice pictures indeed.

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