BPW: Maine Shorebirds

by John Briggs on August 2, 2010

in Bird Photographs, Bird Photography Weekly, Blog, Maine Birds, Wildlife

In the previous post, I wrote about our trip to Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunk, Maine. As promised, I present this photo series of a few of the shorebirds we encountered during the first week or so of fall shorebird migration in Maine. The action will intensify in the coming weeks, and we plan to make another trip during late August.

We were happy to see the endangered Piping Plover chicks feeding on thier own, as evident in photos below of a chick pulling an annelid worm from the sand. These chicks are flightless for 26 to 35 days and are extremely vulnerable to predators and human disturbance. There are many very sensitive species losing their coastal habitat, including Least Terns, who also nest on the beach.

For those who might question how close I was when I photographed these birds, rest assured, I was far enough away as to not be a threat to the birds. I hid among some large rocks and used a long lens to capture the photos. I received some nasty comments in the previous post which claimed I was too close to the chicks. How this could be deduced by looking at a single photo is beyond me, and I just chalk it up as ignorance on the part of the commenter. As further proof that I was no threat to the birds, you will see in the following photographs that the chicks were actively feeding, something they would NOT be doing if I was a threat to them.

I practice responsible bird photography. I have been doing this long enough that I know what I am doing. I have seen others who approach birds dangerously close. I don’t judge how close a person is by the photo they took. I judge how close a person is to a bird when I am there, in person, and see with my own eyes how close they are. And if I see they are too close, I am not afraid to tell the photographer that he or she is too close. In a nutshell, if you were not there to see where I was in relation to where the bird was, then keep your nescient comments to yourself!

All photos taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click a thumbnail for a full-sized view.

Happy birding!



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