Long-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De SotoLong-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De Soto – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Since winter has thus far decided to stay in more northern latitudes and higher elevations I decided to post an image of a Long-billed Curlew taken in southern, sub-tropical climes a few years ago. Maybe it will tick Winter off enough to show up in its frosty cloak and icy breath. We’ve only had snow twice and it is December??

A few weeks before I left Florida to move to Utah a Long-billed Curlew showed up at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach and stayed there for the entire nesting season which ended weeks after I had moved west. I had fun photographing the graceful shorebird before I moved.

When I photographed this female curlew I was flat on my stomach and a little lower than the bird, there were little mounds of out of focus sand between the bird and my lens and my selection of a shallow depth of field created the soft blur near the birds feet.  Because of my low angle and the birds elevation on the sand dune there is only sky in the background, the water of the Gulf of Mexico was below the sand dune.