It's in my blood.
Since I was given my first camera, when I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by capturing in a shot what my eyes were seeing around me. The beauty of nature or the smile of a friend, an event or an emotion... Precious pearls to be framed in a photo. Whether freezing a movement or moving the stillness, looking at normality through a different angle or portraying the exceptional, I can choose different perspectives, I can catch reality. I think this passion is in my blood, I inherited it from my Grandpa and then from my Dad, and it has always had a great influence in my life. Come and follow me in my journey searching impressions of life.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Dinner with the Long-billed Curlew

Browsing through some of my folders, I found some photos taken a couple of years ago at the Bolsa Chica Wetland Preserve, in California.
That day, I went to the wetlands around sunset, hoping to take some good shots of the many birds that can be found there. Sunset is a beautiful moment because of the light, the colors and it looks like many birds fish at that time of the day.

During my previous visit, I only had a quick glimpse of the Long-billed curlew, and that was certainly one of the birds that I was hoping to see. And this time I was lucky enough to spend quite some time with this one bird.



               560mm f/6.3 1/1250sec ISO640


               560mm f/6.3 1/1600sec ISO640


               560mm f/6.3 1/3200sec ISO1000 +0.33


               560mm f/6.3 1/1250sec ISO640


               560mm f/8.0 1/1600sec ISO800 +0.33



I had the opportunity to see it looking for food and capturing some crabs. The bird uses the very long and curved bill to probe the muddy ground close to the water to find crabs and small invertebrates. He also captures grasshoppers and other insects.

It was incredible to see the curlew turning its neck 180 degrees while trying to extract a crab from the mud, adjusting the proper curved side of the long bill to the situation: It really looked like a contortionist.

               560mm f/6.3 1/1250sec ISO1000 +0.33


               560mm f/8.0 1/800sec ISO800 +0.33



 Here a funny shot when the crab realizes that it's been discovered... It looks like it's saying: "Don't think it's going to be easy, man! I am not going down without a fight!" It's almost like having two knights fighting in a duel... who is going to win?

               560mm f/7.1 1/1000sec ISO640



But nothing could be easier for the long-billed curlew. Even though the crab is not a very small one, the long bill is a formidable weapon that the bird uses with incredible expertise.

               560mm f/7.1 1/1000sec ISO640



With a one-two move, the crab is made harmless. And after capturing it, there was certainly the need of washing the food before eating it! I was surprised to see the bird going to the water and letting the crab fall into it, just to immediately capture it again to wash all the mud off of it. The curlew was incredibly skilled in "handling" the crab with the bill, making it jump in mid-air to get it again in the correct position.

               560mm f/6.3 1/1600sec ISO640


               560mm f/7.1 1/1250sec ISO640


               560mm f/6.3 1/3200sec ISO1000 +0.33


               560mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO800 +0.33



Well, no more crabs... dinner time was finished for the day.

               560mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO800 +0.33


               560mm f/6.3 1/2000sec ISO640


               560mm f/6.3 1/2000sec ISO640


               400mm f/8.0 1/1600sec ISO800 +0.33


               400mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO800 +0.33



And after so much hard work, and a great dinner, finally some relaxation, getting ready to go to bed.

               400mm f/8.0 1/1600sec ISO800 +0.33














2 comments:

  1. Outstanding series beautifully documented, great shots!

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    1. Thank you very much, Jake! I am glad you liked the post. Thank you for leaving your comment, it's really appreciated.

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