Sandpipers: Zoom It
There are at least 5 different kinds of sandpipers in this photograph, can you find them all?
This mixed flock of sandpipers had congregated along the Delware Bay to feast on horseshoe crab eggs. Horseshoe crabs spawn in late spring and these sandpipers time their migrations to coincide with the feast.
The abundance of easily accessible food allows these sandpipers to fatten up quickly and continue their migration to the Arctic where they will raise young.
Gerhard used a 2,8/300mm with a 1.4 Converter (ending up with a 4,0/420mm) for the shot. This combination is usually quite useful for this kind of photography. The AF is very fast but it slows down a bit because of the converter.
The whole setup is not too heavy to hold in your hands (around 4kg) for a long time. But one could easily use one of the more popular 80(100) 400mm zooms which would have been even more versatile because of the zoom feature.
The flock of birds was moving along the shoreline and looking for a good landing spot which was not already occupied by innumerable semipalmated sandpipers—it was the peak of the horseshoe crab spawning season. Unfortunately, they decided to roost after only a couple of pictures were taken, there was too much food on the beach to keep them in the air.
For use of this, or other photos, contact Gerhard Hofmann at:
About These Birds
These shorebirds breed in the Arctic but are found throughout the United States, especially along the coasts, during migration. They overwinter throughout the tropics and in the southern United States.