I had a great time shooting Portland Head Light and Cape Elizabeth light. On a little beach, there were some sea vegetables washed up by an earlier storm. This is a boon for migrating shore birds because the washed up seaweed holds sea lice, invertebrates, attract flies and all kinds of high protein goodies that fatten up our little friends.
I had a condition like this happen a year ago on Eastern Point and I have gone back several times month to try and find the same conditions without success.
When it does happen, what I like to do is find a rock to sit on and just chill out for a while watch the flock. I’ll snap some pictures towards them, point my camera a other things and just let them know that I’m cool. I don’t try to be “real still” or “blend in” or anything like that. I don’t wear camouflage, hide in blinds or set up blinds. No, I’m out there sticking out like a sore thumb.
Sooner or later, they will settle down and they will approach me at their comfort level, usually at about 10 feet at the minimum, although when I was in my 20’s, I had three Black Turnstones walk up to within six inches of my feet while I was sitting on a rock on a jetty.
This is when I get into the “Zone”. Those of you who are wildlife photographers know what I’m talking about. This is when your co-workers think you’re nuts, your lodge buddies are wondering why they didn't black-ball you and your spouce starts calling the layer. Yes folks, this is the photographer’s “Zone”. Just me and the peeps. Don’t bother me. Don’t hold dinner and no, I’m not answering that text message. I’m in the “Zone”.
Least Sandpiper walking towards me.
This Least Sandpiper settledown to do a little digesting about 15 feet away. This was the end of the shoot. Whoo-hoo, what a thrill!
After 15 minutes, I had the shots I wanted and as fascinated as I was, these guys need to put on fat and get through the migration. The fact that they will not come closer than 10 feet means that I'm still an intrusion.
So I went back to the car and took a few more shots of the lighthouse and headed back to home.