I spent a while this morning trying to photograph some tiny Turnstones as they were busying themselves hunting for food on the beach. It’s quite hard to get a decent shot as they are so fast. They remind me of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland “late for a very important date” and “with no time to say hello, goodbye”. This little one, that went off-piste onto the road (something I’m noticing during the lockdown as they become more brazen with the reduced traffic) reminded me of the Looney Tunes cartoon character Roadrunner. The white line next to it shows you just how tiny these birds are, though actually the ones I saw today were actually on the large size.

It could be time to invest in a bigger zoom lens to do them justice – if they keep still long enough for me. The one time they were obliging was when it snowed a couple of years back. I was able to go right up to them then. Either they were too busy concentrating on staying warm to move, or their little feet were frozen to the ground. Hopefully not the latter.

The birds generally have a mottled appearance, apart from their lovely white undercarriage and bright orange legs. But when they fly they look like different birds, with black and white wings. It took me a while to realise that they were the same species. I do think that they were one of the most adorable bird breeds, especially as they look like they’re wearing orange stockings. And they way the flit about just adds to their charm. I generally only see them in winter, though according to the RSPB they are in Britain all year round. Anyhow, I always consider them one of things that makes winter a bit more tolerable.

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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