Sanderling portrait

Last week I was on Texel in the Netherlands on a short family holiday. Awful bad weather with a lot of rain and wind. At home in Belgium the weather was simply marvelous, so what were we doing here?

The first day we did a long walk on the beach under menacing clouds. Sanderlings (drieteenstrandloper) were running hin and forth on the beach in the wake of the incoming waves. I did not manage to get good pictures of them, mainly - I must admit - by lack of interest. Almost all the pictures you see of these cute waders are in the surf and on the beach, so I was not that exited to go on my belly in the wet sand for it. The clouds made the landscape interesting though.

Better weather was predicted for Saturday morning, so we decided to take our chances and head for the Slufter, a fantastic place for birding, walking and photographing. I heard from other photographers there were some horned larks (strandleeuwerik) around. I got hungry. But they were shy and I could not approach them as I wanted.

But then, as I was still lying down a bit disappointed, a flock of sanderling flew in. They were feeding in the short vegetation very nervously as they always do and after some time they came into neat photo distance. As I was lying even lower as them the unsharp fore- and background gave me some great opportunities.

More pictures (and also larger) can be seen in the 'recent' photo album on my website

The bird pictures are all made with the Nikon D850 in combination with the 500mm f5,6 PF lens. This lens weighs only slightly more than 1 kilo and performs like hell: I love it. It is so versatile and easy in handling and it gives me photo opportunities I would miss with the heavy 500m f4, not only because of the weight but also because of the dimensions. I now carry a bag of 7 kilos and I have 2 bodies in it with a 24-70mm, 70-200 or 80-400mm and the 500mm. I can walk around with it whole day without sore back and bones. Another advantage I experienced is that you can take sharp shots at a far lesser speed. So the f4 is only used now from the car or on short walks.

Thanks for reading, and eventually leaving a comment; always pleasant.

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