Willet in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Willets/Willet in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico

Willet in the surfWillet in the surf – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 370mm, natural light

Getting “Down & Dirty” pays off when photographing shorebirds like this Willet in the surf I photographed in Florida as it walked along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Willet (Tringa semipalmata) was very comfortable with my presence as I laid flat in the wet sand to photograph it giving me an eye level view of this beautiful bird. The crashing wave in the background was a bonus! Because the light was great I was able to shoot this image at a low ISO and without any exposure compensation. The low ISO helped to capture plenty of fine details in the plumage of the Willet and the sea foam near its feet.



  1. Elijah Goodwin July 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Very nice!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you very much Elijah!

  2. M. Firpi July 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Here’s the link to the Sandpipers: http://birdsfromthecaribbean.blogspot.com/p/common-sandpiper.html The Willets are larger but in the same family. I like the natural light on your images.

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for the link Maria.

  3. M. Firpi July 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I also shot a Common Sandpiper at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Florida. At that time I would have blogged about all the wonderful work they do at the sanctuary. The sandpipers I shot just happened to be at the sanctuary that day. The sanctuary is not a place for wildlife shooting, however. All the birds are either in cages, sick, or in rehabilitation.

    After checking your link I see that it wasn’t a Spotted you photographed but a Willet, sorry for the confusion!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      I know the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary well Maria, they do marvelous work there. I think you may have photographed Spotted Sandpipers because a Common Sandpiper would have been a record bird in Florida and the internet would have been buzzing like crazy about it. There are wild birds that hang around the sanctuary and across the street a few blocks north is a wonderful rookery.

  4. Stu July 16, 2012 at 11:38 am

    A sibling’s view. I love the foam detail on the wave edge. Great shot.
    Your efforts are always rewarded 😉 ( <– from my new book of blog comment compliments 😉

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you for honoring me with a comment from your new book of blog comments Stu!

  5. Laurence Butler July 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Love the Willet! It’s really neat how the smooth textures of the bird are met with the textures of the bubbly surf.

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you Laurence, I really like the bubbly surf too!

  6. Bob Zeller July 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I, too, like that perspective. The crashing wave makes a nice bokeh in the background. Great shot, Mia.

  7. Dan Huber July 16, 2012 at 6:36 am

    fantastic shot, love the angle.

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