Thursday, 14 January 2016

Purple Sandpipers at Frinton

29th December 2015

After a superb morning at Mistley it was time to move on to Frinton in search of Purple Sandpipers. The actual site I had in mind is actually mid-way between Frinton and Holland Haven, but parking at Holland Haven costs £5 whereas parking at Frinton is free. So therefore the Purple Sands were at Frinton.

As we walked along the sea wall we were distracted by the long-staying Rough-legged Buzzard sitting on a post next to the golf course, but whilst Andy tried to get a closer view I continued to the slipway by the outfall to search for our little purple friends. As I stuck my head timidly over the wall I could immediately see three birds feeding on the seaweed-covered concrete which then flew on to the slipway and starting feeding at the water's edge.

This was an ideal situation as the sun was behind me and I could get closer if the situation allowed. The only downside was that because it was 2.30pm the sun was getting low in the sky and therefore the slipway was in deep shadow giving me obvious lighting problems. I therefore wound the ISO up to 4000 and took a number of shots eventually getting down to a range of just 8 yards.

Purple Sandpipers are a very scarce wader, only being found at a handful of sites around our southern coastline and therefore it was very satisfying to find them so close to home. Well. that's my Purple Sandpiper fix for another year.

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