Into the Light

It never ever ceases to amaze me how far birds can travel. Small insignificant little waifs; no more than balls of feathers really, can traverse mountain ranges and oceans; journeys that you and I would find unthinkable.  One such small traveller recently took residence on a small muddy pool at Kelling in North Norfolk. I say took residence; he did from time to time make forays further along the coast and annoyingly usually 10 minutes before my arrival.

The Pectoral Sandpiper from the high Arctic of North America/ Eastern Siberia chose Kelling Quag as a stop-over point on its migration south. This is a charming place and good for birds too, but to photograph them here it is ludicrously difficult. The lens is almost always pointing south … into the light and the birds are separated from photographer if not by distance then by a set of dancing reeds intent on being wind blown into frame.

I turned up just past first light the other day determined to get a decent shot of the Pec. It wasn’t there. Typical. I thought I would sit it out as there was low cloud and the light was nice and flat making it ideal for getting a shot should the sandpiper choose to grace us with its presence.

I didn’t see it fly in. It sort of magically appeared. The wind was somewhat blowy and so the reeds did their best to get between me and the bird but I eventually got one or two shots off I was pleased with just before the sun broke through and made further photography too difficult.


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October 2012
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