What a difference a day makes. The previous day at Bolivar Flats was cloudy with few birds within reach. The next day was sunny with Avocets right in front of me. My rules of thumb are 1) If you have a bad day photographing wildlife, go back the next day and try again and 2) If you have a great day of shooting wildlife, don’t go back to the same location the next day as you will likely be disappointed as it won’t be the same.
The challenge with Avocets is that they are very skittish, can be difficult to find in a good shooting location and travel in large flocks making it hard to get an isolated bird shot. Found a group of Avocets near a sand bar but didn’t want to get too close and spook them. Found a good shooting location and laid down and waited for them to come to me, which is usually the best strategy. It paid off this time and they made their way towards me. Got several isolated birds and had some being too close at 700mm.
Liked this shot with him looking right at me and the water dripping from his beak. Shot in aperture priority and had to use negative exposure compensation to keep from blowing out the white areas of the bird.
Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4xIII teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II head
1/1250 sec @ F9, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -2/3 exposure compensation