This gallery contains 3 photos. This is the second time I’ve seen Dunlins since first spotting a small flock huddled together in their breeding plumage, with black belly patches and russet red feathers, on the end of the Iona Jetty on a chilly April day, six years ago. In the winter, they wear faded tuxedos. Whatever the season, though, their small sizes, long bills, jet black eyes, and seeming lack of necks make them fun to watch as they wander up and down the shoreline. It’s like watching a group of toddlers take their first steps.
once in a while, a representative of the species will single itself out for a cameo.
f/6.3, 1/1000, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 640
Unlike some birds, which may require camouflaged camera gear, army fatigues, bird blinds, teleconverters, and (as a last resort) crawling through the mud, elaborate maneuvers and setups aren’t necessary to score closeups of Dunlins. They seem to find the human presence a non-threatening one, and are as likely to approach me as I them (and I do prefer my subjects to be comfortable around me). They flock in large numbers for protection and warmth, but so do many other birds that I can’t get close to!
Dunlins are undaunted by the presence of humans. These ones even look a little bored.
f/6.3, 1/1000, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 500
A group of 10-12 Dunlins was freely mingling with a grain of 60 Sanderlings and a single, out-of-season Semipalmated Plover on December 9, 2015, at Boundary Bay Regional Park. Although I am familiar with the park as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for migratory flocks of birds, until late last year, I didn’t think that mixed flocks of these sandpipers were common — and then, a flock flew past me. Upon review of that photo on my camera’s LCD, I realized that there were a few dark faces in the crowd!
the essence of cute, milling on the shoreline (3 Dunlins and many Sanderlings).
f/7.1, 1/1000, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 400