Monday, 28 November 2011

Pebbles.....

Much can be achieved in an hour. I got some reasonable images of Snow Buntings in little over an hour on the shore last Saturday, but I wanted more time with them. I had a day off today, and although there were chores to be done I couldn't resist a few hours back on the beach with these charming little birds.


There are reports of 3 birds but I only catch up with 2 of them but I get to spend 3 hours in thier company, and the time flew. There were very hard to pick up, they stayed in the band of pebbles high up the shore and mooched amongst the vegetation on the strand line, moving with vole-like movements along the stones.


They moved between piles of straw picking seeds from the washed up tangle of stems. They would also move out into the open and pick between the pebbles, always staying close together....


The couple were happy to carry on with their routine while I was there, they were very tame and totally accepting of my presence on their beach. It was wonderful to watch them just being Snow Buntings.

Having a meticulous preen to ensure feathers are in tip top condition....


Enjoying a good old scratch....


They are relaxed but not complacent. Every now and then an glance is cast skywards to check for danger from above. Kestrels and Sparrowhawks patrol these cliffs - vigilance is required....


They spend the vast majority of the time I'm there feeding. Guzzling seeds from the clumps of beached straw. They are confident enough to perch on top of these clumps and survey the shore and me.


Sharp eyes spot a snack in the heap of grass, a seed is picked out....


.... and is munched by a thick bright yellow bill....


I don't want to sound too gushing and daft but it genuinely was a privilege to share the beach with these birds. Just watching them live their lives for a few short hours was fantastic.


and yes, I have total respect for these birds.

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