It’s winter-time and that means many species of waterfowl and other shorebirds are migrating in the lower Rio Grande Valley. On a very overcast and windy day this past weekend, I ventured out to what is quickly becoming my favorite public place to photograph, Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas. I knew I could get some good shorebird/waterfowl shots off of the boardwalk near the headquarters so I made a slow and quiet approach to a spot where the action was good. Of course, during my approach everything moved further away but I picked my spot, dropped to a prone position and patiently waited, knowing they’d return. Soon after, this lone spotted sandpiper made it’s way, foraging on the ground.
The spotted sandpiper is known for its constant nodding and teetering movements as it forages. In order to avoid blur from its constant movement, I knew I would need a fast shutter speed. Given the overcast light, I chose a wide open aperture of f/4.5 in order obtain the fastest possible shutter speed, knowing this would also render a very nice blurred background.
On a personal note, I like the soft light and warm colors in this photograph and I particularly like the raised foot which provides a sense of motion in the image. It can be uncomfortable laying on your belly for long periods of time, but the shots are sure worth it. Click on the image for a higher resolution view.
Until next time, keep shooting, – Kevin