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Posts Tagged ‘Tringa melanoleuca’

With so much water currently in the central wetlands area of Huntley Meadows Park, I don’t see many shorebirds at this time of the year. The shorebirds seem to prefer to wade in shallow water. This past weekend, however, I spotted this one as it surveyed the marshland from atop a log. I think it is a Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), although I admit that I have troubles identifying the different shorebirds, many of which look almost identical to me.

As you can see, the yellowlegs was a long way away. Usually I try to get close-up shots with either a telephoto or a macro lens and am a little disappointed if I can not fill a substantial part of the frame with my primary subject. In this case, however, I was never tempted to crop the image more severely, because  the surrounding landscape is an important element of making this image appealing to me.

Greater Yellowlegs

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Swans have Swan Lake, so why shouldn’t shorebirds have Shorebird Ballet?

It looked like these Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) were practicing their dance moves in the water one day recently. As you can see, it requires great balance and, as the second photo shows, attention to the foot position—you have to keep the toes pointed. (One or more of these might be Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), but my identification skills are not honed enough to be able to distinguish between the two with any great certainty.)

You can’t turn on the television these days without seeing commercials for dance competition programs like Dancing With the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance.  These birds could be at the leading edge of a new dance craze, Dancing With the Birds.

They already have a leg up on their competition.

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The soggy, overcast weather this past Friday kept people away from my local marshland park and allowed me to get these shots of a Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca).

I don’t normally see these birds and if I do, they are almost always beyond the range of my lens. This day, however, there were a couple of yellowlegs and another smaller shorebird, which I was told was a Solitary Sandpiper, that moved back and forth in the water, remaining within range for quite some time.

The lighting was a little  tricky for me, with the sky almost white most of the time, though sometimes the sun would peek out from behind all of the clouds. Most of the shots were a little underexposed, but I was able to correct them with a few little tweaks in post-production. I especially like the lighting in the first photo, in which the water has some color to it.

I am happy, though, that I was able to get some pretty clear shots of this beautiful bird, thanks in part to some careful focusing and the use of a tripod. (If you want to see another shot of the yellowlegs, checkout my earlier posting.)

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Yesterday on a heavily overcast day, a few shorebirds were closer to the shore than usual at the pond area of my local marsh, including this one, which I was told is a Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca). As I looked through my bird identification book, I realize that identification of shorebirds is pretty difficult, given that many of them look almost the same, so I can’t guarantee that my identification is accurate.

I am working on a few more images of the yellowlegs, but thought that I would share this one initially, because I was able to capture the bird as it was reaching into the water. The light was not bright, but there was enough of if to produce a beautiful reflection in the water as the bird reached below this surface with its bill.

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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