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Recent shorebird photography

Posted by Liron on Wednesday, July 22, 2015
A lot has gone on since my last post! I have been birding all the time. My BC year list is now at 272, helped out by a birding trip to the Peace River Region (Fort. St. John area). My goal for the year is 305, which I am confident I will be able to achieve!

Now that it's summer and I'm off school, I'm free to go birding pretty much every day! :D My favorite activity to do at this time of year is visit Boundary Bay and photograph the shorebirds that are on their fall migration, heading south.

I did some shorebird photography when the birds were on their way north as well. These were taken a few months ago, but since I haven't posted them on this forum I thought I would include them:

Dunlin - April 2015

This particular Dunlin was very cooperative, and I spent a while photographing it. The tide was far out, so I walked over 1.1 kilometers out on the mudflats before stopping to photograph this guy, according to the GPS in my camera! After a while of slithering around in the mud on my belly, I left this bird to feed and headed back to shore, soaking wet and covered in mud!

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Western Sandpipers - May 2015

The peak of the northbound shorebird migration had passed, but lots of shorebirds were still migrating through! I spent nearly two hours lying down in the mud, and eventually positioned myself right in the middle of a flock of about 1000 Western Sandpipers and 500 Dunlin. Being totally surrounded by these birds is amazing. It is not easy to gain the trust of a flock of this size, so whenever I get hundreds of sandpipers coming too close for me to focus it is always so amazing!


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I didn't go shorebirding at Boundary Bay in June because it is the quietest month of the year for shorebirds- you can go out there and get zero migrating species!

Now that it's July and I'm off school, I'm back at it. Here are some shots from a couple days ago, July 20:

I was super happy to relocate two Pacific Golden-Plovers at Boundary Bay on the morning of the 20th! This is only the second time I have seen this species in BC, and to get some close shots of them was awesome!! This is also the first time I have ever seen this species in breeding plumage!

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After photographing the Pacific Golden-Plovers, I searched for more species to photograph. I saw Western Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeers, Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers. I have spent a lot of time photographing all these species in the past, but I decided to go for the Black-bellied Plovers. 

Of the 34 shorebird species I've photographed in and around Boundary Bay, Black-bellied Plovers are probably in the top 3 hardest shorebirds to get close to. Rarely do I manage to get close enough for good photos of these plovers, but I've figured out some good techniques that is making it easier!

I approached multiple groups of Black-bellied Plovers on the 20th, but they all would get nervous when I was still quite far away. I eventually found one group that allowed me to get reasonably close. I was happy to get some decent shots! Getting sharp shots in the heat haze was a bit of a challenge.

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After shorebirding for a while longer, I finished the 8.5 hour birding day with some Least Sandpipers. Least Sandpipers are one of the easiest shorebirds to photograph at Boundary Bay, but it still takes effort to get close shots of them. To get these ones I was lying down in the mud!

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Thanks for looking! :) Sorry for the overload of photos! :lol:


I run private shorebird photography workshops at Boundary Bay. If you are interested, go to this link for more info:http://lironsnaturephotography.com/workshops.php





 

 

 

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