Showing posts with label Calidris alba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Calidris alba. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Feeding peeps, Point Reyes National Seashore

Feeding sanderlings - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Sanderlings dig deep into the sand looking for a meal after a wave pulls back along Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore.

View more images of shorebirds along in the beach in my Limantour Spit, Point Reyes National Seashore Gallery.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peaceful peep, Point Reyes National Seashore

Sanderling in Point Reyes National Seashore - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

A sanderling rests in the wet sand between the rocks of Drake's Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. I always love to see shorebirds roosting like this, with their bill tucked away. It's such a pleasing shape to my eye.

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View more images of these adorable shorebirds in my Sandpipers Gallery.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three sanderlings?

Three sanderlings? -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife and Nature Photography

When I was flipping through the files I had already processed from this trip to pick one to upload for today, something new caught my eye in this frame. The tail feathers off to the side of the left-most sanderling actually belong to a second bird behind it. Other than a slight tilt in angle towards me, the front bird could have completely blocked out the back bird. Now I'll have to look through my archives again to see if I have a frame where this is the case. This shot is from an awesome morning spent at Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore with a huge flock of sandpipers.

I also wanted to mention that Jim Goldstein posted the results for his annual blog project of 2010 Favorites. Over 160 of his readers submitted their personal favorite images of the past year (myself included) and he put together a list with a link to each one. If you have some time and want to see some great images, its definitely worth checking them out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Resting peeps

Group shots of shorebirds can be challenging, as you need to find an interesting subject to frame, and also a pleasing formation of birds to make up the rest of the image. Here are two shots that I haven't decided yet where I stand with them -- they both had potential, but also have some flaws.

Resting peeps -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife and Nature Photography

In the first shot, I like how the birds are arranged and overall I like the composition. However, the front-most western sandpiper is just outside of the focus, which can be a bit distracting compared to the sharp sanderling that is the focal point for my eyes.

Resting sandpipers -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife and Nature Photography

For the second shot I changed the apeture to increase the depth of field (f/8 to f/11) so that the front western sandpiper is now in focus enough to be less of a distraction. However, I don't quite like the arrangement of the birds as much from this vantage point. I do like the depth provided by the crowd in the background of this shot, though.

What do you think?


Submitted as part of the World Bird Wednesday blog meme -- Follow the link to check out the entries for this week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sanderling sprint

Sanderling sprint

Seemingly in constant motion, two sanderlings running in front of the wavefront along Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. They appear to be glancing back at the photographer -- perhaps becuase the wave chased them closer to me than they hoped, or perhaps because they wanted to see if I would end up with wet feet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

One more snooze

Hitting the snooze

As with every Monday morning, it sure would have felt nice to hit that snooze button one more time. In honor of that feeling, here's a shot of a few sanderlings napping along Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. This is a start of a good week though, with 3 chances for the Giants to win the World Series beginning with Lincecum on the mound tonight!

And of course we have an election this week as well. For those of you in California, don't forget to vote Yes on 21 to fund our State Parks and keep these awesome wild areas safe and open to the public! More information can be found at this link.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Take a bow

Take a bow

A sanderling (Calidris alba) in a high-contrast plumage phase (probably a molting juvenile) having a stretch and a bow. And really, with how much it stands out from the others who can blame it for showing off a little. Taken along Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sanderling zzz's

Catching some Z's

Some resting sanderlings (Calidris alba) along the beach at Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore. As a whole, this flock of mostly sanderlings was actually fairly still. For anyone who has watched sanderlings for any length of time, that's rather unusual, since they seem to be in constant motion. And this was mostly still the case -- even though the flock generally stayed in place, the individual birds kept on the move, constantly shuffling positions. These birds were resting in the middle and eventually found themselves at the edge of the group. I like this shot both because it shows a restful side of a normally speedy bird, but also because it shows slightly different stages in the change from summer plumage to winter plumage. The bird on the right still has a bit of the chestnut coloring left, while the bird in the middle is in the plain basic plumage, and the bird on the left is somewhere in between.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time to stretch

Time to Stretch

A late afternoon walk along Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore on an overcast Sunday was a real treat a few weekends ago. I first encountered a collection of perhaps 10 or so snowy plovers all hanging out in the same spot. Its always fun to watch them sprint between footprints in the sand before settling down into one for a bit. And while I was filling up a memory card on those adorable shorebirds, I didn't even realize that a huge flock of sanderlings (with a handful of western sandpipers too) had landed less than 100 ft behind me. So needless to say it was a great surprise to have creeped away from the snowy plovers only to finally stand up again before realizing the scene before me and heading back to the prone position. There was certainly at least 75 birds in this flock, and at this time they seemed to be in relaxation and preening mode.

Trying to pick out a single bird to accent was sort of difficult, as they were constantly scurrying about (even while appearing restful they almost never stop) and changing places. However, I did happen to have my lens on the right bird at the right time on a few occassions, to get some shots with a more interesting pose than just a standing sanderling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Against the grain

Against the grain

Even when everyone is running in one direction, sometimes its not a bad idea to take a step in the other.

Sanderlings on an overcast evening at Pillar Point Harbor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fast

Everything about sanderlings seems to happen fast.

Sprint formation

They run across the sand fast, they change directions fast, they takeoff fast and land fast.

Fast legs

And sometimes they even come flying into the frame a little too fast.

Sanderling sprint

It would have been great to have some more space on the left of this shot, but sometimes things just happen too fast.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In the crowd

A group of sanderlings in summer plumage along the shoreline of Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. The late afternoon was overcast under a heavy fog that just seems to be around all day, every day this summer in the Bay Area. However, I don't really mind the fog as it means there's a longer window for photography both in the morning and evening, and the colors in their plumage come out nice against the bleak scenery.

In the crowd

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sanderling times two

Sanderling pair

Sanderling duos in summer colors running with the waves at Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. There was a decent sized flock of maybe 40-50 birds there last weekend, however, there were also plenty of dogs around that loved to give chase. So I had to get my shots in between the flocks being spooked and flying off to a different area before eventually being chased by a different dog and coming back to where I was.

Sanderling strut

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reason to celebrate -- Thanks for the votes!

Reason to celebrate -- Thanks for the votes!

The voting results for the 2010 Defenders of Wildlife photo contest have been released, and thanks to your votes, my image of Tomales Bay State Park won 2nd place in the Wild Lands category! (Full results can be viewed here, if you're curious.) It was such a cool honor to be named as a finalist among all of those other awesome images, and even cooler to be voted into second place!

If you're a member of the organization, keep your eye out for all of the winning images in the Summer issue of Defenders Magazine. And thanks again if you took the time to vote!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peaceful moments

Well, a very busy past few weeks has kept me away from posting new images, but I did manage to slip out for a great early morning walk along Limantour Spit two weekends ago, and we went for a terrific camping trip to the North Coast redwoods this weekend (many images to come, I'm sure -- once I've actually had a chance to look at them). But first, I thought I would share two relatively serene scenes, at least as far as sanderlings go.

Peaceful beach (1of2)

For anyone that has watched these guys frantically pick at the beach and stay one step ahead of the waves, they seem to be in constant motion. It was a nice change of pace to capture some fleeting quiet moments with them before they picked up speed again and took off up the beach.

Peaceful beach (2of2)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Organized chaos -- sanderling takeoff and landing

Watching these birds attempt to stay a step ahead of the waves is always a fun thing to do. Especially when there is a large flock involved, as its great to see them move in unison. But every now and then, they seem to misjudge the incoming water and have to result to a mass takeoff. My challenge on this trip was to attempt to capture the chaos, as well as the beauty, of such a scene. Below is a sequence from the action that followed a single incoming wave.

Chaotic Takeoff


Takeoff and Landing, Chaotic (2of3)


Takeoff and Landing, Chaotic (1of3)


Takeoff and Landing, Chaotic (3of3)