Here’s an interesting bird that differs from a closely related species the short billed dowitcher. Both long distance migrants that arrive from the Northern most areas of the continent, the long billed waits a bit longer before heading South & is slightly more prone to salt water habitat, good for local birding.
Look for a shore bird about a foot in total length and long straight bill of a least 3″. Breeding or Summer plumage is a colorful combo of soft creams, tans and black. During the Winter those colors fade to gray but in each case the bird sports a white V or wedge shape from the rump up the back, visible in flight.
This species uses that long straight bill as a probing tool so check shallow mudflats, pond or lakesides and even fertile surflines. We’ve covered several shore birds now so you know the drill: big lens, steady rest and a low straight shooting angle. Be careful to keep your gear clean and dry too. Glamor bird? No but a key to completing your personal list. Check the beaches of Naples, the areas around Estero Bay and Tiger Tail Beach on Marco. Their migration gets underway this month so from October on, you’re on for this one. Coming up this season- guided birding trips for the photographer to Southwest Florida’s top spots. For great pictures and a learning experience, consider a trip. Details to come…
This week’s Birds of Florida reader contest question: Of the two top aerial predators which one has been covered so far? Remember the reader with the most points chooses a signed 16×20 canvas of their choice. Answer here with a comment, email it in or leave it with me on Facebook.
One new feature of this blog is a passing on of photography related sales, do these help?
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copyright 2011 Gordon Campbell/Southwest Florida Outdoor Photography.