Sanderling by Glyn Sellors
Juvenile Sanderling is an often understated autumn returnee, when the focus of birders and photographers alike are instead focused on scarcer Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stints, or pristine Ruff and Bar-tailed Godwits. It is, however, a beautiful bird, with a buffish tinge on the breast and coverts and neatly adorned with black-and-white above. Here, this provides for a lovely colour palette, mimicking the tones of the mussel and attached byssal thread.
Sanderling is notorious for 'chasing the tide' and picking off invertebrates left by the surf. This youngster, taken on the beach at Titchwell RSPB in Norfolk, is expertly captured mid-stride, running with its prey carried only by a thin strand. Getting at eye level has led to a narrow depth of field, helping to focus attention on the subject in question while providing just enough context – a littered tide line with waves lapping in the background. It is an entertaining image, one can easily imagine the mussel swinging back and forth as the bird darts back up the beach to beat the advancing waves.
Congratulations to Glyn on this week's fine winner!
Other notable images