Sandbanks is the most exclusive beach in the country and contains some of the hottest properties. No, I’m not talking about Sandbanks Beach in Poole in Dorset, where only the fabulously wealthy live. I’m talking about one of my favourite beaches in Westray; the one with the sand banks.

While we are walking along the beach I look at the holes in the sand dunes. There is a large rabbit hole and I joke that it must have a Puffin in it. Then we stumble across a large collection of much smaller holes and I am just saying “Oh look! Those look like Sa…”, when a Sand Martin flies out of one. “That was a Sand Martin,” I say. We beat a hasty retreat and look back at a safe distance. Sure enough, the sky is full of Sand Martins.

Sand Martins - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are tiny and incredibly fast. They look smaller than House Martins and Swallows. They are so fast that as I’m photographing them I’m wishing I’d played more video games. They’re also very far away.

Which beach were they on? Well, since there are still sick birds’ egg collectors out there, Sandbanks will remain exclusive and anonymous, just in case.

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