The concept of being cold feels very far away right now but back in April we spent a week in north Wales which included snow covered beaches and whiteout blizzards. I know, it’s scarcely believable that we ever needed to wear a jumper let alone turn back from a walk due to extreme weather but that folks is 2021 for you. I’ve much more to share from this trip in future entries but for today wanted to cover a brilliant encounter which occurred just before sunset. Walking along the beach at Tal-y-bont on a rising tide we stumbled upon a small flock of Sanderling, initially frantically feeding in a way that only Sanderling can. With the place pretty much to ourselves I slowly crept forwards, happy to watch the birds antics but not expecting any photographic masterpieces. My presence seemed to be of no concern to the birds, so much so in fact that after a while they settled down to roost. This presented an extraordinary opportunity for some close-up work of which the following images are just some of my favourites.

P4021259 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021262 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021228 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021208 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021200 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021149 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021136 - Sanderling, Barmouth
P4021255 - Sanderling, Barmouth

In amongst the Sanderling were a couple of Dunlin, probably glad of the rest after keeping up with their turbo-charged brethren, but much harder to get clear shots of without the former getting in the way.

P4021190 -  Dunlin, Barmouth
P4021176 - Sanderling, Barmouth

Eventually, with knees screaming and fingers frozen, I just had to pull myself away leaving the birds to their hopefully undisturbed rest. With the weather that was to come they were certainly going to need it.


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