Birds of the Florida Beach

September 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I could complain about the weather (and maybe I still will). But... if it weren’t for the hi and low pressures airstreams, jet streams, and whatever else set us up to have a volatile last couple of days in Fort Myers Beach, I never would have come away with my favorite shot from the trip.

Storms were once again rolling in from the gulf coast as I set my sights on a lone Roseate Spoonbill wading around in the semi-shallow waters between low and high tides.  I was half way up to my knees in the water, the only protected skin from the “no-see-ums”.  It was hard to get a clean shot as they were all over every other part of me, biting like the dickens.  Somehow they even get to the scalp.  So there I was, not wanting to get my shorts wet because we were heading to diner straight after our beach visit, but wanting a somewhat low perspective.  I squatted down as far as I could, handholding my D810 with the trusty 300 f/4 with teleconverter attached.  This gives me a focal length of 420mm.  It was just right for the environmental shot I was envisioning.  My issue, other than the piranha like insects, was the light (or lack thereof)… it was getting a bit dark and the ISO was creeping up farther than I would like.  I was wide open at f5.6 so had no other choice than to slow my shutter speed.  I gambled down to 1/800 second, knowing in my current stance I probably couldn’t get away with anything lower.  Thankfully it was enough! 
 
 As the skies darkened and the thunder started growing louder, I decided it was time to run back to the car before I was totally soaked.  Luckily I made it just in time :) 
 
Solitude and SerenitySolitary Roseate Spoonbill on the beach
 
We spent a good amount of time, and had a lot of fun capturing some intimate images of smaller shorebirds scouring the shoreline for food. Lots of showers were had, as most of these shots were taken laying on my belly in the wet sand!
 
Willet
 
Ruddy Turnstone
 
Black-bellied Plover
 
Sanderling
 
Semipalmated Plover
 
Stay tuned for Part II as I wade through hundreds, if not thousand of images from this adventure :)
 
 

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