Friday, July 10, 2015

Piping plover chicks in morning light, Sandy Point State Reservation

Fluffy piping plover chick in early morning light on Plum Island, Massachusetts

I took a Friday off in June to do some photography. The forecast wasn’t great, and I almost canceled my plans, but a Thursday night read of the Plum Island bird sighting reports convinced me to go. I had seen that folks were still spotting some sandpipers that seemed late to leave for the tundra, so the potential chance to photograph some peeps in summer colors was enough to get me to drag myself out of bed early. I had a delightful time wandering the beach and watching the courting rituals of least terns, and it felt great to have my camera in hand again. After the best light faded, I decided to start heading back to my car – and much to my surprise and delight, I saw a small flock of tiny plover chicks zig-zagging across the sand. Limited time in harsh light wasn’t enough, so with some helpful suggestions from my wife, I went back for sunrise on Sunday and then again a week later when this pair of images was taken. Multiple plover families were cruising the beach and drawing quite a crowd of photographers each morning.

 Piping plover chick at Sandy Point State Reservation

View more of my photographs of plovers.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Roseate spoonbill feeding at Bunche Beach Preserve

Roseate spoonbill with bill submerged in water at Bunche Beach Preserve

It was such an awesome experience to be able to watch this young roseate spoonbill at close range in a tidal pool at Bunche Beach Preserve. This species has such an elegant behavior as they rhythmically sway their bill sideways back and forth through the water.

Roseate spoonbill feeding in the shallows in Fort Myers

But in this series of photographs, a sort of goofy expression appeared on the face of this individual while it splashed in the water -- making it all the more endearing to me.

Feeding roseate spoonbill splashes water at Bunche Beach

View more photographs of roseate spoonbills and other wading birds.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tricolored heron on the prowl, Bunche Beach Preserve

Tricolored heron on the prowl at Bunche Beach Preserve, Florida

Herons have such amazing eyes, and they seem to move with such focus. As this one prowled the shallow waters of a tidal pool, I certainly would not want to be a small critter looking up through the surface of the water to see that face staring back at me!

View more photographs of herons and egrets.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quiet evening along the coast, Plymouth Beach

Sleeping dunlin at sunset on Plymouth Beach, Massachusetts

I finally went out looking for shorebirds for the first time near home this year with a trip to Plymouth Beach last night. I saw on eBird that there were recent sightings of hundreds of dunlin there within the last week, which matched my experience last spring. Unfortunately, the shorebirds were no where to be found on my walk to the tip of the peninsula and back. Oh well though, the light was nice and the walk was pleasant -- and it just felt great to be outside breathing in the coastal air again.

The shot above is from a trip to Plymouth Beach that I took at the start of May 2014. It was another outing where I didn't see a ton on my walk out, but as the sun was dropping close to the horizon I met a small flock of dunlin that were preening and resting in the fading light.

View more of my dunlin photography.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Early morning willet, Bunche Beach Preserve

Early morning willet at Bunche Beach, Fort Myers

On my trip to Florida in March, I enjoyed the chance to photograph a variety of bird species that we don't get to see up here in the northeast. But no matter where I am, its hard to pass up an opportunity to photograph a shorebird, even if a plain old willet like this one. What they lack in color and plumage pattern they certainly make up for in character!

Willet with reflection in still water

View more photographs of willets.