A five-frame series of this black-bellied plover pulling a segmented worm from the exposed sand of Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. I've watched black-bellied plovers pull many of these worms from the sand, but this is the first time my photographs left me reasonably (although not fully) satisfied. The birds will stalk around looking for a tip of the worm in the sand, then freeze, stare at it for a moment or two, and then strike.
As it starts to pull the worm from the ground, I often marvel at how long these critters are, and how many there must be just underfoot.
Most of the time the worm seems to pop out of the hole by the time the plover is back to full-height, but this particular meal was longer than expected.
The plover pulled, and pulled, and seemed to be preparing for the worm to come popping out of the sand. It's eye was half closed, and I can't help but wonder if it expected the worm to come flying at it like a rubber-band that snaps under tension.
For the last frame the plover pulled even further out of my plane of focus, but yet the worm still hung onto its burrow. Moments later the plover took its prize, and it was fun to watch it attempt to eat it like a long string of spaghetti.
View more images of these charismatic shorebirds in my Plovers Gallery.
Submitted to World Bird Wednesday -- Follow the link to see this week's posts!