A few quiet moments with a Black-bellied Plover at low tide

/, Black-bellied Plovers, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/A few quiet moments with a Black-bellied Plover at low tide

Black-bellied Plover at low tide in the mudflatsBlack-bellied Plover at low tide in the mudflats – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

Shorebirds. They were what sparked my passion for bird photography. They were what drew me back to the Gulf Coast of Florida as much as I could be there. For me early on shorebirds were “it”. T0 photograph them meant getting up early and heading out before the sun had risen or heading to the coast to await the setting sun.

Preening Black-bellied PloverPreening Black-bellied Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

It meant getting sand in places that sand shouldn’t be. It meant holding my breath when algae bloomed in the saltwater lagoons because the smell could make me light-headed. It meant ignoring the biting flies or the tiny shrimp tickling my legs as I sat as still as could be in the water while focusing on the shorebirds. It meant sweating in the warm sun until my clothes were damp whether I had been in the water or not. It meant having mud from the tidal flats on my arms, legs and face when I got “down & dirty”. It meant I needed a whole lot of patience.

Black-bellied Plover in a quiet lagoonBlack-bellied Plover in a quiet lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

What it gave me. Joy that I could be so close to the birds that sparked my photography. I learned so much from and about them. I could watch their behaviors and feel like I was part of their world. Being with them gave me peace, a sense of balance and direction.

Being with them also gave me thousands of images of amazing shorebirds from the tiny Least Sandpipers to the larger Long-billed Curlews that found their way to Fort De Soto’s shores.

Even a few moments with a Black-bellied Plover at low tide was enough to enchant me and keep me going back for more. It was and still is.

Life is good.

Mia

These images were taken in December 2008. Black-bellied Plovers are our largest plover species in North America.

4 Comments

  1. Humming Bird Lover February 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    HI! love your story telling , I am in your world as a little fly watching you!!! Your love of nature and all its critters comes from way back to your Great grandparents! It is in your blood to hang in there sitting in water, in the bushes or where ever! Enjoy life to its fullest. Have a special week!

  2. Jolanta February 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Beautiful photos 🙂

  3. Patty Chadwick February 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Wonderful images of a sweet-faced bird…especially like the second, one-legged, eyes closed pose. Comments remind me of hours spents lying on my stomach in the warm, shallow water, among the mangrove roots,barely floating, peering through my face mask…watching tiny critters going aboit their business–serenity……

  4. Bob Bushell February 1, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Fantastic Plover image Mia.

Comments are closed.