Monday, January 16, 2012

Overcast snowy plover, Point Reyes National Seashore

Western snowy plover in Point Reyes National Seashore

In keeping with the theme of my previous two posts, here is another shot pulled from the archives of an awesome trip I took to Point Reyes National Seashore in February of last year. This series of images illustrates part of why I love Point Reyes so much -- because I could start out my day being surrounded by a herd of tule elk, then have time to cruise through the park to see a kestrel, a skunk, and a bobcat along the roads, before ending up on Limantour Spit to photograph shorebirds including sanderlings and western snowy plovers like this one. While all of these shots lacked the magic light of the golden hour, Point Reyes taught me to truly appreciate overcast skies for wildlife photography. If the marine layer fog hadn't kept the sky covered throughout the morning, I would have been ready to leave the park after seeing the elk and losing the nice light to ugly blue skies. Instead, this wonderful diffuse light stayed around all morning, and I was able to keep shooting all the way up until it was time to head home in time to have lunch with my wife.

View more photos of these adorable shorebirds in my Plovers Gallery.


  1. Wonderful image. Do you change your white balance to 'cloudy' for situations like these?

    1. Thanks, John. Yes, I definitely use "cloudy" white balance for overcast days. Since I shoot in RAW it's not completely necessary to select the correct white balance at the time of capture, however, I do set it to the most appropriate preset while I'm shooting.

  2. You just keep making my heart sing for Point Reyes...have to get back there one day. When we visited last time in 1980, there was a Red-tailed Hawk that allowed us get so close, it was magical and I had the worst little camera back then...oh I so would love that chance again. The Plover is spectacular~

  3. The capture is ideal. The detail is remarkable.

  4. Hi friends,

    You have taken a fantastic photo of snow plover. Really, I appreciate your good work. The snowy plover breeds on sandy coasts and brackish inland lakes, and is uncommon on fresh water. Thanks for sharing it......