As many of you know shorebirds were my “spark” birds because they fired up my passion for photographing our feathered friends and that fire hasn’t been extinguished to this day.
I didn’t spend as much time photographing shorebirds on Honeymoon Island State Park as I did at Fort De Soto County Park primarily because Honeymoon Island SP doesn’t open their gates until 8 am and that is kind of late most of the year to get that sweet golden light that we strive for in our images. If they had opened their gates as early as Fort De Soto County Park I would have spent much more time there on the beach with shorebirds instead of spending most of my time on the Osprey Trail.
There were days though that the mosquitoes were so bad on Osprey Trail that I would give up and head to the beach even though the light was higher than I would have liked. One morning in May of 2008 I decided to skip the trail in the woods (and the mosquitoes) and head straight to the beach and walk to the northern most tip of Honeymoon Island and I was not disappointed at all by the birds I found foraging, resting and running about, including this Dunlin running along the shore of the Gulf. This Dunlin was just about finished molting into its breeding plumage and would have soon been on its way to the Arctic and sub-Arctic tundra to breed and raise its young. I was able to take a very nice series of images of this sandpiper as it dashed along the edge of the waves.
Life is good.
There are times I can see Dunlins here in Utah but I have never been able to get as close to them here as I was able to in Florida.