I just got back from 5 incredible days in Cordova. It was amazing to watch large flocks of of shorebirds in coordinated flight. All birds would turn at the same time. This flock consisted mostly of Western Sandpipers. Too see more images from the trip go to the gallery.
During high tide the birds often took a nap in tightly packed groups. This flock was Dunlins, Western Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones.
This flock of a few thousand Western Sandpipers landed all around me, with many of the birds only 5 feet away. I got many great shots even if my 600 mm lens didn’t focus close enough. The MFD (minimum focusing distance) is an often overlooked feature of camera lenses. In retrospect I wish I had brought along my extension tube to help with the MFD, but I couldn’t have imagined getting this close.
Semipalmated Plovers were common but mostly seen individually or in small groups.
Face-shots are often better than butt-shots, but there are exceptions to every rule. Black-bellied Plovers.
Least Sandpiper feeding on the upper part of the tidal flats.
Short-billed Dowitchers were feeding on the mudflats along Alaganik slough.
Our good friend, Leo Americus, took us out to sandbars at the south end of Orca Inlet, which had an amazing array and amount of migratory shorebirds, such as Bar-tailed Godwit and several thousand Red Knots.
Of course there were other birds and wildlife as well. Glaucous-winged Gulls, Bald Eagles, and Beavers were other frequent companions.
Oh Yes -we can’t forget that spring was arriving and the Alder bushes were in full bloom.
My most common body position was flat on my belly in the muck. Big thanks to, my wife Nancy for this last flattering picture of me, and our friend Bill Mohrwinkel from Arctic Wild for letting us camp by is cabin and his invaluable birding tips.