Apart from one other early bird (excuse the horrible pun) I had Blackie Spit and the birds all to myself. The ocean was dead calm, the flood tide was about to begin and the only sounds were provided by Mother Nature herself. Above me two Caspian terns were diving for fish, a dozen black-bellied plovers, their breeding plumage beginning to fade fed on the estuary mudflats. Five Kildeer, some of them youngsters were hunting for food in the exposed eel grass while one after another, a parade of Great blue herons flew overhead, all going in the same direction to where, who knows!
I settled down to photograph Savannah sparrows and their young. I was quickly distracted by a flock of house finches feeding on seed pods, an American goldfinch flew in close enough for a quick picture, three frames and he's gone.
Over my shoulder I see a movement on the beach, it's a Long-billed curlew feeding in the shallows. I have to work fast before the first dog guardian/owner arrives as the bird is feeding in the off-leash area of the beach. I make myself as small as possible as I inch my way toward the waterline, slowly but surely the bird accepts my presence and continues to feed. I spend 15 minutes kneeling in the mud but it's all worth it in the end.
|A long-billed curlew prepares to swallow a small crab.|
|Long-billed curlew/Blackie Spit.|