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Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Crookham Common, Berkshire, UK. 24 September 2011
EOS 70D & 400mmf4DO+x1.4TC. 1/1600 sec f7.1 ISO 1600

This bird had been reported from this site on and off for several days previously, but on hearing it was present on a Saturday lunchtime I couldn't resist the temptation to try for it. This was a new site for me, and it wasn't immediately clear where to go on arrival. Some pits a short distance away looked promising, but to my dismay a dog walker was taking her wretched beast right through the most promising looking area. However to my amazement I located the bird a little while later almost exactly where the dog had been!

The bird was very approachable, but initially it was difficult to get good shots as it was walking away from me, along a much vegetated shore line. After a while though the late afternoon sun came out strongly, and the bird settled down to feed in a clear area, conveniently viewed from the "up sun" direction. It found a pile of horse manure much to its liking and the challenge was then to get photographs of the bird clear of this un-scenic feature! Of the several hundred shots I took, this is the one I like best, as it has a clear background and the light from the nearly setting sun was absolutely superb. This was also the first successful outing for my home made "ground pod" which worked well and gave the photograph the extra appeal of a low camera angle.

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