A session at Mai Po again today. Very frustrating. I needed a longer lens and the light was dreadful. I did get one or two nice shots, mainly of flocks of birds as I was using my F4  400mm.

Mainly dunlin

Then it started to rain – Pacific golden plover…….

Pacific golden plover

I always wonder how they manage to coordinate their touchdowns – I have this image in my mind of wader pile-ups.

But somehow order is always restored whatever the species.

Kentish plover

They all find their place on the mudflats, stints and plovers at the front, tringas and avocets behind on the tide line, godwits, curlews and friends wading in the shallows, large (Caspian) terns, smaller gulls a little further back, cormorants, large gulls on the sandbanks and the egrets and spoonies just do as they please.

If a raptor appears then the dance floor empties until the coast is clear and then the flocks whirl and whoosh around until they whiffle down again and resume whatever they were doing – eating, resting, squabbling, courting or just chatting amongst friends.

Whatever the light, whether the lens is right or wrong, its always a thrilling experience to watch the greatest show on earth at Mai Po.

3 thoughts on “Waders

  1. I am always impressed by the coordination these flocks exhibit whether landing or wheeling about in the air. Simply amazing how hundreds/thousands of birds can maintain such choreography
    I like all three shots, but Kentish Plover really shines for me.

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