The RSPB says, “The ringed plover is a small, dumpy, short-legged wading bird.” Read more. That’s not very complimentary, is it? I think they’re incredibly elegant and very beautiful, but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It’s on Mae Sands, and so am I, lying face down in wet sand with the sounds of waves breaking in my ears.
It’s pottering along the tideline, making the occasional enthusiastic rush for a patch of wet sand.
I can’t see what it’s doing. All the birds here seem so preoccupied with feeding, but I can’t see what they’re interested in. There must be something delicious here being rolled by the waves and abandoned or disturbed on the shore.
Then I see it; this Ringed Plover has a sand shrimp firmly between its jaws. Fabulous.
There’s a Ruddy Turnstone joining in what I can’t refer to as a feeding frenzy, more afternoon tea amongst old friends.
They have a real dignity and poise.
The light is beginning to disappear now, and I’ve got a very wet leg after misjudging one of the larger waves.
It’s time for me to leave them to forage along the strand.
Small, dumpy and short-legged, indeed.