Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sanderling (Calidris alba)

Besides photographing the black scoters and the interesting sky the other day, I also spent some time photographing a Sanderling. SanderlingSanderling (Calidris alba) is a member of the group known as waders and also as one of the "peeps.”.  Normally, we see them in flocks, running along the shore and following out the receding water and running from the incoming water, looking for small crabs and other small invertebrates.  They  winter locally and leave in the spring to travel to the high Arctic breeding grounds and then return in late summer and early fall.
In the winter, these sanderlings are unmistakable, because of their very pale color, which is almost white, except for a dark shoulder patch.
SANDERLING
In the  summer the summer their head, neck and breast will become a reddish brown with dark streaking.
Sanderling
If you sit still low to the ground, the sanderlings will usually run back and forth in front of you.  If you try to keep following  them, they will usually fly away.  I approached the sanderling by walking not directly but laterally towards the sanderling and then I sat on the damp sand, with my tripod down low and waited for the sanderling to come to me.  The photographs were taken with my Nikon D 800 in DX mode, my Nikon or 500 mm F/4 telephoto lens with a 1.4 X converter on it.  I also utilized an external flash that was set above my camera and lens With a Better Beamer attach to the flash.  The flash was used as a fill flash with a -2 EV compensation.  I was not only looking for statics photographs of the sanderling, but some photographs that would show action of its head and body, while it was feeding.
Sanderling
feeding
Sanderling
looking for food
Sanderling
looking for food
Sanderling
"Here Is Looking AT You"