The Black-winged Stilts are constants on the incoming tide at the moment. The closer in time that I arrive before a high tide, the closer in distance I get to the birds.
I’ve been contemplating why I’m going through this practice every day. It’s as much about the desire to improve the shot taking as it is for the exercise and fresh air. Every day I’m learning something new or having other things reaffirmed. It’s all about the light today. Mid-late afternoon. And for a change, these photos have absolutely no adjustments to exposure or effects added.
I’m noticing improvements in my ability to track birds in flight with the camera too. Practice, practice, practice, as they say.
I’ve been timing my coast walks close to high tide so it was after 2pm that I made today’s trek. The only shore birds evident were the usual suspects, these Black-winged Stilts. They were mostly intent on holding the same pose. As I was leaving, I caught sight of a Greater Egret wading around the mangroves.
I watched him catch two fish and then took a few unspectacular photographs from my vantage point.
Once done fishing, the bird took off in a hurry. Any shot of his departure was going to be miraculous. You’ll notice that the camera (and the photographer) did manage to get the mangroves in focus.
For a while it was relatively calm on the shore line. The tide was coming in gently and every so often the birds jostled for new positions as they moved up a little more to take account of the changing water depths.
Then this backwash from a passing boat arrived. This is the moment when the godwits were figuring out that some kind of reaction was called for. You can almost see their minds ticking over.
I arrived at the Point an hour later than yesterday’s trek which meant that the incoming tide was closer to the shore. Today’s shots have very little or no effects work done on them with the exception of the stilts in flight photo which has a touch of Vintage using FX Photo Studio Pro.
You might notice a ring in towards the end. I was lying in a prone position so as not to disturb the shore birds. Suddenly he was half a metre away from my face. He was totally unfazed and not about to let a strange human on the grass disturb his food hunt.
I didn’t come across a single human on this walk in the rain. The magpies in the park were enjoying a feast of insects underneath the damp grass. The butcher bird was flitting around the plants on the edge of the mangroves. At the beginning of the walking path, the male brush turkey was working on his mound.
The presence of these birds made up for the lack of shore birds and the fact that I missed a shot of a magnificent sea eagle looking for fish scraps on a low tide.
Through the window in my office, I have a good view of the garden and am able to see occasional visitors of note.
This morning it was this white-faced heron. Because the glare was right behind him, all I was getting on the screen was a silhouette. It took a great deal of pushing the exposure and some other tweaks to get this image happening.
And then the bird flew next door. A different angle and different light meant an easier transition to an image that did the heron a little more justice, despite the longer distance.