Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Assorted Waders

One of the reasons I love the winter is the assortment of waders that can be photographed locally. A group of birds I will never tire of photographing. The best tactic always seems to be to find a spot, keep low and still and wait for them to come to you, usually with the advancing tide. However, you can guarantee that just when they have come into photography range, you will see a dog running past in front of your lens and the flock taking flight. Chasing around a beach after waders is pointless as all you will end up with is photos of flying tail feathers. It is also important that the birds are allowed to feed and roost undisturbed to conserve their energy on those windswept winter beaches. The prime consideration of any wildlife photographer should always be for the welfare of their subject. So let sleeping waders sleep...

Knot Dunlin RedshankSanderlingWhen they do wake and soft winter light is shining, with a bit of good positioning and luck you can then really enjoy the pleasure of photographing these wonderful birds

Small and fast across the water, a sanderling in flight.

Purple Sandpiper Knot feeding on the estuary mud. Wading redshank
Oystercatcher looking for earthworms
and a bonus Black-tail Godwit while waiting for another species


horukuru said...

Excellent shots you have here !

Joe said...


I loved these shots. So professional. I wonder when I will see my first waders of the year at a nature reserve. The Oystercatcher has to be one of my favourite birds,


zacowen said...

Great shots! You have so much detail in your pics.

Steve B said...

Just found you through, The Early Birder. It's always fun to see others photographing the same birds from a different land. Excellent advice about not chasing the waders and shore birds around, it is best to let them feel okay with you being there. As you have demonstrated with your images, the rewards are bountiful.

I have to say I've fallen in love with Purple Sandpipers. They are such hardy and tolerant fellows.

S.C.E. said...

Some wonderful wader shots, I'm guessing from Hilbre?

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for all your comments.

Steve I agree with you that purple sandpipers are great fun to photographer and as you say often quite confiding. I always find them to be best when alone as they become more skittish if mixed in with a group of turnstone.

SCE these were not taken at Hilbre but along the North Wirral Coast. Strangely enough I have never been out to Hilbre Island, despite it being so close to home, but hope to rectify that soon.




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