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Western Sandpipers

Posted by Liron Gertsman on August 27, 2013 at 8:25 am
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Taken at 104th street at Boundary Bay in Delta, BC, Canada on July 25 2013.

I’m starting to get much better with the manual focus with the 1.4x teleconverter on.

Boundary Bay is located on the pacific coast in Delta, BC, near the border between the US and Canada. This bay is well known for it huge expanse of mudflats at low tide, but birders know it for different reasons on top of the incredible tides: the shorebirds that feed on the mud that is exposed or covered based on the tide.

Picking up in late July and ending in early November, shorebird migration at Boundary Bay is one of the most incredible things nature has to offer of North America, in my opinion and many others I’m sure. Thousands of shorebirds pass through Boundary Bay on their journey from their breeding grounds in northern North America (the arctic for some), down through Central America to South America, creating an amazing spectacle. At this time of year, falcons also hunt the mudflats, trying to catch a sandpiper out of flocks than can have thousands of birds.

Yesterday on July 25 2013, I had some great luck with many shorebirds including the Western Sandpipers in the photo. By the end of the visit I had seen 10 species of shorebirds in total: Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Sanderling. The flocks of Western Sandpipers and Black-bellied Plovers numbered in the thousands.

This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF 400mm F/5.6L USM, and Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (manual focus at 560mm). I arrived at the bay in the morning at 7:50 AM. Soon after arrived, three Black-bellied Plovers flew in and landed about 100 meters out. I walked out about 50 meters, crouched down, and waited. Not only did I get some nice shots of the plovers as their feeding patterns brought them a bit closer to me, but after a few minutes they were joined by hundreds Western Sandpipers including these two that came closer and closer to me as I crouched down, staying still. It was very cool!