Shorebird Migration

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Chugach, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

Western Sandpipers, Seward, Alaska.

Western Sandpipers yesterday afternoon, Seward, Alaska.

The last two years I have traveled to the Copper River Delta for the spring shorebird migration – that is one amazing experience!

The number of birds migrating through Seward are measured in the hundreds instead of the tens of thousands over on the Copper River Delta, but it is still fun to see.  Yesterday was probably the best day I can ever remember here – hundreds of sandpipers and other shorebirds, numerous species of ducks, even a few sandhill cranes.  And a few eagles and a northern harrier preying on the weak.  There were birds everywhere – it was cool to see and I’m not even a “birder”.

They seem a bit late this year maybe because of the cool weather.  Between the steady rain, wind and a temperature just above 40 – I could barely feel my auto-focus and shutter buttons after a couple of hours – but I was having so much fun, it didn’t matter!

Comments 11

  1. That looks great Ron! In all my time laying in the silt at Hartney Bay I have not gotten as nice spaced and in focus. Sometimes it seems like just a few birds are easier to work- they are not as jumpy as the large flock.

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  3. Hey Ron, always love these shorebird shots of yours. Care to share your method (approach, equipment, etc). I’ve always wondered how approachable these birds are. Looks like you were down in the sand for these, did you use a bean bag, or ground pod? Thanks and great job as always!

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    Thanks David!

    They are impossible to approach because they never stay in one place for more then a minute.

    I have watched them long enough to know what areas they prefer. I head to these spots, lay in the mud and wait without moving. Earlier last week I laid there for 2 hours and got nothing. This day, I had birds all around!

    I should add, I use a Skimmer from NSN, along with a 600 f/4 plus a 2x converter.

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  6. Excellent image, Ron. To get both sandpipers in focus with that lens setup has to be a joy to behold when you are editing your images.

    Have followed your blog for some time. Keep it up, and enjoy Denali (again…).

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