Montana Outdoors

July 6, 2010

A session with the Sandpipers

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:12 pm

It is very, very seldom that I will go out to intentionally photograph something specific, but a couple of days ago I did just that after seeing some sandpipers along the river and wanting some photos of them. I understand that in many places they have gotten used to the presence of people and will allow one to get fairly close, but that hasn’t happened to the ones here: these are as wild as March hares. I worked very hard for these shots and enjoyed every second of it! (I also got all carried away posting the photos, which happened because I just completely fell in love with this pretty little bird.)

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

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30 Comments »

  1. Wow! I can see why you love this little bird. So beautiful – and wow did you get some good bokeh!!

    Like

    Comment by Stacey Dawn — July 6, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  2. You should be proud, Terry. These are fantastic. My favs are the last two. Nice lighting on those but they are all excellent.

    Like

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — July 7, 2010 @ 3:51 am

    • I was pleased with the photos. These were active little guys and therefore the light angles kept changing. I got lucky!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

  3. Outstanding shots. Really nice bokeh and depth of field control. The first image should definitely be printed and hung with pride.

    Nice work!

    Jeff

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Lynch — July 7, 2010 @ 5:56 am

    • I especially like the first one too, and quite excited with the results from that lens: I haven’t used it very much yet.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  4. Each one of these captures are excellent and exquisite! I really like each one and especially love the last two! Well worth the effort, patience and time for these shots. Nice photography, Montucky!

    Like

    Comment by Anna — July 7, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    • Yes, I feel the photos are worth the effort, although it was fun, too, and it’s always nice by the river.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  5. Wow! It’s ok – go to town. You got really nice shots. that deserve to be shown off. Hope you print and hang some!

    Like

    Comment by victry1 — July 7, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  6. I am glad that you got carried away. The photos are beautiful. It surprises me they are in Montana. I thought that they were shore birds. That must be the “something” I learned today.

    Like

    Comment by sandy — July 7, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    • It was a little surprising to me when I first saw them here. I remember seeing Kildeers when I was a kid. There are sandy banks for them along this part of the river and they seem to do quite well there, although I wonder how they found it in the first place.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  7. These are all wonderful. Never knew sandpipers were spotted birds. Great for camouflage — except not able to hide from the persistent bird photog!

    Like

    Comment by Bo Mackison — July 7, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    • There are several species of sandpipers and this is the spotted one. I played a little game with them. By their actions I could tell that there were nests in the area and about where they were so I was able to station myself close enough to keep the birds around but clearly far enough from the nest so as to not alarm the young ones.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  8. Your little friend might be shy but is certainly a poser. I can see why you were enchanted with him/her.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — July 7, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

    • “Enchanting” is a good word for them! They are perky little things, aren’t they! I’m not sure how many individuals are in the photos: I think three or maybe four and it seems both sexes have the same coloring and pattern.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  9. Those are some amazing photos!

    Like

    Comment by kateri — July 7, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    • I was very pleased when I loaded the photos on the computer because I’ve never seen these birds in such detail before. Once again, the advantage of a good lens!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  10. What lens is it?

    Like

    Comment by Candace — July 8, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

    • These were all hand-held using a NIKON AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm lens. All of these were taken at 300mm. It’s a little pricy but the vibration reduction is amazing. It weighs 2 lbs, which I think is a little heavy, but I like the results. I’m just learning to use it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 8, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  11. Great shots.

    You could send some photos to some magazine, because they compete with any nature photos.

    BTW, I have never seen Sandpipers.

    Like

    Comment by sartenada — July 8, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    • Thanks, sartenada! Sandpipers are usually associated with ocean beaches, but these seem to do well here along one section of the river. They do migrate, but there are some here every summer. They are very enjoyable to watch and have an unmistakeable call. I can understand just a little bit of their language.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 8, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  12. I didn’t realize Montana had sandpipers. I associate them with Florida beaches where they’re humorous to watch running back and forth to stay out of reach of the incoming waves.

    Malcolm

    Like

    Comment by knightofswords — July 9, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    • My daughter who lives in California also thought of them as an ocean beach bird. There is a little sand on the shore here where they live and some nice big rocks and a dry area with tall grass where they can nest. They probably find the real estate is cheaper here than on the coasts.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 9, 2010 @ 9:19 am

  13. Great shots. I’ve had a lot of sandpipers running/flying across the driveway in front of my car lately. I always worry I’m going to hit one.

    Like

    Comment by Patia — July 11, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    • I worry about stepping on a nest. Have to be extra careful with foot placement in their area.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 11, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  14. it’s always a treat for the eyes when you get carried away!

    Like

    Comment by silken — July 14, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

    • Thanks silken. It was easy to get all wrapped up in these birds. They are just so cute!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 14, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  15. You have been doing some great work lately and I’m playing catch up again! This session might just be your best yet… spectacular!

    Like

    Comment by kcjewel — July 14, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    • Thanks Jewel. I know what you mean about catching up. I’ve gotten behind lately too. These little birds just kept giving me opportunities. I could have stayed all day.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 14, 2010 @ 9:12 pm


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