Some more Purple Sandpipers

I had a cunning plan… I wanted to travel to the little island called Skarø, off the south coast of our own island (Fyn/Funen) to try and get some shots of the Short-eared Owls known to winter there. But on the way I would drop by a place on the east side of Fyn to look for Purple Sandpipers.

The Skarø ferry leaves several times during a day – but, as it turned out, not nearly often enough to work together with my sloppy planning. The Purple Sandpipers were great even if the light wasn’t, and the big 500mm gun was too much for these close-proximity birds anyway, but when I was done with the sandpipers the last of the useful ferried had already left.

So the day turned into a sandpiper day, rather than a sandpiper-and-owl day. On the other hand this means that I can still look forward to the Skarø trip 🙂

The aim with the sandpipers was to get some more dynamics into the shots than last time, in Thorsminde. It partially worked. Click on the images to see larger versions. I sent images of the ringed bird to the relevant authorities, soon we will know more about it:

[edit March 9th: The Danish ringing coordinator for Purple Sandpipers is called Lars Hansen. He sent me an email with a list of the sightings they have of this particular bird – turns out it flew to Langeland later that day, and was seen there the following day. It was re-sighted at this same location two weeks later, so they do get around while here. Incidentally, this bird was only ringed in Denmark in November 2013, so we still don’t know where it goes to breed – hopefully someone spots in somewhere in the Arctic in a few months!]

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Five birds – one is sharp.

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This one is on the verge of getting dunked
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Impressive to watch these little birds on the rocks they are designed to run along – they have good grip!

Purple Sandpipers 4

With the 500mm working at or near its closest focus distance, the depth of field is just about nil. So getting more than ½ bird in focus is unlikely, but I think it works anyway.

 

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • Taken: 14 February, 2014
  • Focal length: 500mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600s

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