Western Sandpiper on the goWestern Sandpiper on the go – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light

It dawned on me this morning that I haven not posted an image of a Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) here yet so I pulled this one out of my archives that I photographed at Fort De Soto, Florida as the small shorebird ran in front of me on the shoreline. Western Sandpipers winter along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines as well as in the Caribbean and interior Mexico. The bird above was going into breeding plumage as indicated by the rusty cap and cheek patch, in full breeding plumage the wings would also show more rust color.

I was laying in the wet sand on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico when I created this image, I had been photographing nearly stationary birds when I saw this sandpiper about to run in front of me so I panned my lens to keep up with the running bird. I didn’t have time to change my ISO to gain shutter speed so the movement of the legs is not frozen. In this case though I like the motion blur of the legs because in my eye it shows movement.