Aug. 29, 2014, at the Ridgefield NWR. I drove more than halfway around the 4-mile auto tour route (the first time) without even picking up my camera to shoot. I then came upon this Long-billed Dowitcher, alone in shallow water, repeatedly plunging its bill into the murky water foraging for food. It was concentrating very heavily on what it was doing and rarely lifted its head from the plunging position (i.e., down). All of a sudden the bird jumped straight into the air about a foot off the surface. I happened to have my eye on the viewfinder and my finger on the shutter button and I clicked this one shot just as I noticed this fast movement. A second later the bird was back to its foraging. I don’t know what caused it to jump–maybe it stepped on a frog or something as it was walking along–who knows?? The airborne material is what was kicked up by the bird’s feet.
Larger view available here.
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1250, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 3:37 p.m.