Willet Having Breakfast

Willet with CrabThis Willet was having a late breakfast, as it was pushing 11 am and I was just about done for the day. This is a good example of when waiting around can pay off pretty well, and this was almost my last image of the day. In fact, I’d already decided to call it quits as my camera would only hold 10 more frames when this Willet moved away from the other birds and quickly plucked up a little crab. Just as fast as he caught it, it was gone down his throat, so there is indeed an element of luck in this shot, confirming that you can’t get a good shot if you don’t press the shutter button.

All told, I had a very good morning at Ft. DeSoto a couple of weeks ago. It was -9 degrees when we left Princeton, so 68 degrees in St. Peterburg was a real treat. This morning it was foggy at first and stayed overcast all morning, but there was a nice tame group of birds around, including this Willet, a pair of Marbled Godwits, a Litttle Blue Heron, a Roseate Spoonbill, a Reddish Egret and of course the ever present Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets.. They didn’t mind at all that I was kneeling in the water within 8-10 feet of them and I was just so glad to be out of the freezing Massachusetts weather that the gray skies was of no concern to me. The light fog and overcast made for nice soft light and high key backgrounds.

Hope that you enjoy this Willet shot with his crab breakfast.

Taken with a tripod mounted Nikon D4 and 600 mm lens at 1/1,250 sec., f7, ISO 640.

 

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10 Responses to Willet Having Breakfast

  1. John Kelly

    Back in Florida eh? Smart man. Watched the Patriots farewell in Boston today. Brrr… I’d stay in Florida as long as possible if I were you. Or you could come to Arizona. We have birds too.
    Say, you’re a camera expert. Could you suggest a dummy proof digital camera for our trip to Europe? A cheap one maybe? Stay warm. JK

    • I just wasn’t smart enought to stay in Florida, as we got back in time for this big storm. Not so bad as they predicted, but still a lot to clean up. I’m actually thinking about a trip to Arizona maybe next year. Would love to get to Bosque del Apache for the bird photography in November.

      As for a camera, I’m blown away by what the new Iphones and Samsung phones have for cameras. They really do take excellent photos. Will email you some information if you want something more than the cell phone.

  2. Morris Emigh

    Great job as usual John. I like this one a lot and the luck was in your getting up and out of bed to be there.

  3. fred mccready

    beautiful picture. it appears your chance to catch this picture was quite timely. well done. fred

  4. julie

    wow – that’s timely… >30″ here and still piling… would make beautiful photos, but fully understand wanting to be in FL. ENJOY.

  5. Rich

    Bet you wish you were back in FL kneeling in that warm water. Is it still snowing in Princeton? How many exposures (frames?) did you take to get that crab centered in the birds bill? Fantastic! Kind of makes me hungry for MD crabs on the deck…or maybe I’m just hungry. D…. New Year’s resolutions!

    • Rich, it’s 9 below zero at the house this morning so yes indeed I wish I were back in Florida. When they find something, sometime the bird will play with it for a while and sometimes it just swallows it right down. It this instance, from the time the Willet first stuck his bill in the water to when the crab was gone took 11 frames over a 3 second burst.

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