Sometimes I just feel so lucky being a bird photographer. Not only do I get to be outside in nature when I am photographing, view amazing vistas, hear the calls of birds and animals and then I get nice surprises too like I did this morning when this Long-billed Curlew juvenile approached near enough to get head shots of it.
Ron and I went back out to Antelope Island early this morning and hoped that we would come across some Long-billed Curlews along with any other birds we might find. We went to the location where we found an adult and juvenile Curlews on Friday and found three chicks and one adult today. The juveniles were foraging in the grasses under the watchful eye of the parent. The truck was parked and the engine was off. I lost sight of two of the juveniles but I was keeping one eye on the adult near the shoreline and one on a chick that was visible.
As we sat there watching and waiting to see if the adult would fly in to be near the chicks I spotted this young curlew very close to the vehicle. It must have come through the heavy grasses because I sure didn’t see it approach. I whispered to Ron to let him know the bird was there and started clicking away.
Yes, I feel lucky to have gotten the chance to photograph this young Long-billed Curlew so close and have it be comfortable in our presence thanks to the “mobile blind”. It walked away down the slope to the water, unhurried and undisturbed by us.
What was not so lucky? The biting gnats are still around nibbling on exposed skin even with insect repellent on and the mosquitoes buzzed us constantly. The things bird photographers will tolerate to get those images.
PS: Because of my personal ethics regarding bird photography, nesting birds and chicks I would never approach a young bird as close as this bird was to us on purpose but if the bird walks up to me I do take advantage of the opportunity presented.