With a couple of snow bunting remaining on the local beach over the winter' it provided a good opportunity to do a targeted session. It is great to have such opportunities so close as you can keep an eye on light conditions and dash out for a quick visit in response to limited moments of wonderful seasonal soft warm light. These quick productive local sessions in great light are often amongst my favourites. So I was sat here one late weekend afternoon, and after a day of dark grey clouds overhead, the blanket parted to reveal that pale blue winter sky above and the warmth of a setting winter sun poured through.
5 minutes later and I was on the small area of beach that the birds had been so faithful to for several weeks. As the sun dropped, the light developed a Midas touch that turned everything golden that it fell upon. At this time of year the sun drops quickly and the moment was short-lived but memorable. I did try some silhouetted backlit photographs against the last of the light but it did not really work as the outline of the bunting did not present a uniquely recognisable outline. You should be able to see the change in the quality of light through the series of snow bunting images until there was none left to play with and it was gone for another day below the western horizon.
Before starting to look for the bird I was temporarily distracted by a male Stonechat perched up on some thin stems in the dunes that backed the beach.
On the last occasion I saw a group of eight bird watchers approaching, who were also keenly trying to find the bird. I enquired if they had seen the lark on the beach in the direction they had just come from to which the answer was a resounding chorus of no. I decided to continue on anyway and managed to find the bird perched on a small boulder having not gone more than 15 metres beyond the group of birdwatchers. Sixteen scanning eyes had missed it and walked straight past.
From the photographs below you may not think it would be that difficult to spot but the reality was very different. A selection of images of this attractive lark are shown below.