Bunche Beach. 5am and the conditions are perfect. Perfect tide, perfect light. As the sun comes up so the water recedes exposing the mudflats and sandbars. I have the place to myself, there is literally nobody here at all. The first bird I see is a Great Blue Heron, a sentinel against the mirror of the water. An Osprey is in a dead tree right on the beach. All is as I remember it.
I'd been here before, to this exact spot and for this exact purpose - wader photography. The beach runs east west, and the sun comes up over the mangroves and lights the sand and the shallows in pure gold. If you time it right you literally don't know where to point the camera. Carry a spare battery if you need it, and extra memory cards. Don't hold back, this is what digital cameras are made for. And don't worry about getting wet, sandy and muddy either, or getting your camera gear a bit dirty. It can all be washed or brushed off. I used my Canon 1DX, the 500mm F4 IS mkII, sometimes the 1.4x mkIII converter, and then a gimbal head on a skimmer pod. I probably had the lens off the support as much as on, and I am still finding sand in the camera six months later!
|Get on your belly and push!
|Here you can see some of the exposed sandbars after a successful session
Below are a few of the non-wader images - a small minority! There are two more much much longer posts in the pipeline with Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Grey Plover, Marbled Godwit, Semipalmated Plover, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Wilson's Plover and Piping Plover. Sorry.
|Great Blue Heron