Adult American Oystercatcher among Sea PurslaneAdult American Oystercatcher among Sea Purslane – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, ©2009

I like to include habitat in my images when I am able to do so, especially when the habitat doesn’t obstruct the view of my subject or when the habitat helps to define a sense of place. I have taken hundreds of images of American Oystercatchers in or near water and that shows only a part of the habitat where these shorebirds can be found, they can also be found among stands of Sea Oats, Spartina or as shown in this image, Sea Purslane.

I was at Fort De Soto and Egmont Key from before sunrise to well after sunset the day I photographed this American Oystercatcher in late evening light. I was taking a Florida Master Naturalist course and our class met on Egmont Key that day so I thought I might as well photograph at Fort De Soto’s north beach before I hopped onto the ferry to Egmont Key and by the time I took the ferry back to Fort De Soto I figured I might as well stay for sunset and see if I could capture the “Green Flash” as the sun set. I didn’t see the green flash that night but I was thrilled to be there as the sun dipped below the horizon. I was exhausted, sweaty but very happy to have enjoyed the day so thoroughly.