Unusual Survival Behaviour by Common Sandpiper

This amazing sequence of images, taken by Rupert Kirkwood aboard his kayak off Mousehole yesterday shows the incredible lengths some birds will go to to avoid certain death! Rupert explains:

“Extraordinary peregrine attack witnessed from my kayak two miles off the coast near mousehole. Peregrine stooped at Common Sandpiper that took evasive action and crash-dived into the sea . The peregrine then tried to retrieve its prey from the surface, which dived as it approached! The peregrine dipped its feet under the water to try to catch the submerged sandpiper.

After a couple more circuits and attempts to catch its prey it flew off. I paddled up to the swimming sandpiper assuming it was injured but when my kayak was a few feet away it flew off apparently unharmed! Photos show peregrine dipping feet into water, and the sandpiper’s head is just visible as a tiny dot below peregrine in photo 4″

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