Roosting Sanderling, Lough Foyle
My recent successful trip to Lough Foyle to photograph wading birds attracted me back once again. This time though I brought friend and fellow photographer Jon Lees along to experience the thrill of stalking and photographing these wonderful birds.
We weren't to be disappointed. When arrived on site there were reduced but still good numbers of both Sanderling and Dunlin. The weather lived up to the predictions from the evening before with beautiful morning light illuminating the beach, the sea and the waders that occupied the area of merging between the two.
We slowly approached, first on foot, then our knees before crawling, commando style, along the sand. Slowly edging closer and closer allowing the birds to become accustomed to our presence. Over the next hour or so we progressed ever nearer to our quarry. The birds remaining calm and relaxed often loafing with bills tucked into their back feathers.
In the end I managed to get within two metres of these beautiful bird whilst they fed and relaxed with the tide moving them closer. Finally the flock took off appearing to move up the beach to feed, much to our relief as we had noticed the rising tide coming around threatening to cut us off from our route off the beach.
It is experiences like this that enjoy most about wildlife photography. Not just being so close these birds but the gradual acceptance of my presence – never fully but at least partial. With birds prepared to sleep within a few feet you become one with the nature you capturing.