Nature’s Sentry

The change in plumage of the shorebirds and the distance they migrate in order to mate is mind-blowing.  Most of them gather here in Churchill in the very north of Manitoba, Canada which is sited on the Hudson Bay.

The plumage change is most significant in the male birds as it is their way of attracting the female to mate with.  You can see an example of that in my previous blog Birding in the Tundra where I show the brick-red chest of the Hudsonian Godbit.  Here I show the breeding plumage of the American Golden Plover.  The bright speckled back feathers are contrasted by the deep black beck and underside.

While photographing the Golden Plover concentration is on the bird to the exclusion of just about everything else – taking a few shots then lifting the tripod and camera a few inches to move slowly forward a few paces to ease the tripod down, all the time keeping an eye on the birds in order to stop the second they show signs of flight.  Make a few more images then repeat the process……





All the time this was going on, one of nature’s sentry’s was also keeping a very sharp eye on the Golden Plovers, a male Killdeer.  He was covering a lot of ground on two fixed axes to keep himself between the Golden Plovers and his nest.  Fortunately the Golden Plovers were only interested in feeding themselves and didn’t venture near his nest…..


Having got the images, it was important to lift the tripod a few inches again and slowly back away from the scene so as not to “flush” the birds and let nature carry on as if no photographers had been there making lots of clicking noises.

Gear: Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII, Nikkor TC-20E III, Really Right Stuff tripod & gimbal head, Lexar digital film



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