Dunlin are wary birds. As I walk along the Bay of Tafts they jerk in nervous motion and skit further along the beach to keep a watchful distance. As I paddle in the water they are less wary and I manage to approach within a few metres from the seaward side of them as they forage on the tide line. I’ve never been this close before and can see every detail of their wonderful plumage. I can also just see my camera left in my rucksack on the beach. Later I try again with my camera, but they are much more wary and take flight in furious motion. I’m left with memories of a close encounter and not photographs.