Monday, 13 December 2010

Purple Rock Dwellers

On the 4th day of my 5 day 'Bird-a-thon' i visited Suffolk. It was a slow start as i kept hitting my alarm and refused to get out of bed. When i finally began driving i knew i was going to hit a bit of traffic and was annoyed with myself for not being motivated! However it kinda worked in my favour as the sun was only finally emerging from behind some morning cloud when i arrived at my destination of Ness Point, Lowestoft and as i stepped out of the car the first rays of sun for the day hit. I went in search of Purple Sandpipers, lovely little birds that over-winter regulary at this site every year, as i headed down to the sea front i found a good number of birdwatchers and photographers and thought they must all be here for the Sandpipers but it turned out it was the Iceland Gull that had been hanging around. I did manage a few 'record shots' of the gull but was focused on the Sandpipers.

When i first spotted them 4 individuals were hunkered down on a rock quite far out into the sea not moving at all, not even when sea spray flew up over them! For the next 30 minutes they didn't move a muscle and i was getting a bit bored, the light was perfect but the birds were too far away and too inactive! Bugger! I waited and waited and then walked off to go look at the Iceland Gull again. Whilst chatting with some people i noticed the white dots on the rocks all fly off and they seemed to land closer, as i walked over to where i thought they'd flown to 3 of them flew off and dissapeared....bugger again! However there was still 1 chap unaccountable so i continued searching the sea rocks and then spotted him very close to me with his head tucked in....sleeping again!

The next hour was spent watching him up close not doing very little, he slept alot of the time only occasionally removing his head from his feathers to preen or look around and then he buggered off too! It was a tricky time photographing him as he didn't do alot and the collection of photos i did manage don't show a terribly great range of behaviour etc but i am still happy with them and do have a soft spot for these birds so didn't mind spending some time with him, here are my best efforts...


  1. Some fabulous images Ben, You will have to let me know, next time you are up in Suffolk, keep up the great work.

  2. Hi John, thanks alot! Will get in touch next time im up there, plan to go back as i always like seeing the Sandpipers and want to get some nice Shore Lark images!