Friday, 19 August 2011

The Weight of the World


I have never really managed to photograph Ringed Plovers. Plenty pass through the Patch in autumn and some linger through the winter, but they always seem to elude me.

I got lucky on Hilbre this week with a group that were very obliging. There are lots on the islands at the minute, probably from the populations breeding in Arctic Canada and Greenland on thier way to Africa for the winter.

Time on the island is limited and opportunities for pictures are few and far between, but I did grab 45 minutes with the camera the other day. I had the 40D in one hand and a cheese and pickle on brown in the other. I slithered down to the end of a slope and started to much on my simple but classic sandwich.

Everything seemed to indicate that it was lunchtime...

Turnstones picked fishy treats from the weed covered rocks as I spilled bits of grated cheese alarmingly close to the eyecup of the camera.

Ringed Plovers always seem to look worried and stressed out to me. It is as if they have the weight of the world on their not so broad shoulders, that they are being bullied by the other waders on the rocks. I'm sure that none of this it true but they just have a sad expression....

One seems to be particularly depressed this lunchtime, flat as a pancake. It is sat on it's own looking like it wants to be left to wallow in it's bad mood....


The tide has other ideas and soon it is forced from its spot and closer to me and the cliffs. So are many others and it allows me to get a bunch of pictures of some of it's companions.

Males....

Females....

and juveniles.

They move with the incoming tide, some feeding with the classic plover run, stop and peck action. It is just cool to be close to these birds and I am very pleased to finally get some pictures. It's hard to keep the smile from my face for the rest of the afternoon.

The same can't be said for the Ringed Plovers...


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