It is officially spring, and time to get back out and photograph some birds. I found myself this chilly but sunny Sunday morning along the beach at Madison, Connecticut. That is an interesting spot, because the first birds that grab your attention are the herring gulls, and you get the impression that that’s all there is. But then you focus, calm down, and look around. There is a duck or two bobbing in the waves near shore and further out are the cormorants. Then I noticed a little bird hopping around on one of the small rock outcrops and started shooting with my camera as I approached. He was quite accommodating and in the end allowed me to get close enough to get sharp images with my 70-200 mm lens.
I love to photograph the shore birds and was very happy with the results here, shown as Figure 1. Identifying the bird proved more difficult than usual. The Merlin Bird Identifier App on my cell phone failed me for really the first time. I consider this to be an essential tool for bird photography and also I think that a test of the photograph’s quality lies in containing sufficient characteristic marks to make an identification. I am pretty sure that it is a Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima), here having Sunday brunch along the rocks. You will note as do some of the ornithology guide that it is a stretch to call it purple.
Canon T2i with EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM lens at 200 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/4000th sec at f/7.1 with no exposure compensation.