Friday Feathers

This week’s Friday Feathers come from Nightjar who writes this:


These sanderlings briefly landed in front of me during a relaxed walk on the beach, understandably I was not carrying the 500mm lens with me. I took these with the 50mm, and then I cropped and cropped some more, and then I pretended I meant to compose the images like this all along because sand and seawater are pretty too. :D

I completely agree that the composition IS beautiful and I sympathise with “if only I had the other lens”. I am wondering, are sanderlings related to starlings?

Sanderlings on the beach

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Sanderlings on beach

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Sanderlings on beach

©Nightjar, all rights reserved



  1. rq says

    They look like such tiny little birds besides the giant ocean!
    And obviously it’s because you didn’t have your 500mm lens that they landed. They knew. So basically all these pretty pictures are these birds giving you the ornithological finger and laughing at you.

  2. cherbear says

    They are lovely little creatures that are in no way related to starlings. Related to piping plovers, sand pipers etc.

  3. kestrel says

    @#3, cherbear: Ah, it was a joke… Nightjar has a real problem photographing starlings, who always seem to know whether there is a camera present and therefore whether to get very close to Nightjar. The do when the camera is not there but don’t when it is. That’s what was meant. Although I am happy about your response because it makes me think about sand pipers, and I love thinking about sand pipers!

  4. Nightjar says

    rq, that is correct. Birds are evil little dinosaurs that always know exactly what I have and act accordingly. All of them. Even if I have the 150-500mm lens they know exactly how to give the ornithological finger and laugh at me anyway. That’s the only explanation for the behaviour of a kinglet that recently landed in plain sight in a perch in front of me but was just a little too close (!!!) for the lens’ minimum focus distance at 500mm. What’s worse, it stood still for a while (something kinglets never do!) looking at me as if saying “yeah, you take ONE step back and I’m gone, and don’t even THINK of moving your hand to try to zoom out now”. Which was exactly what happened…

  5. quotetheunquote says

    So agree with #2 & #5: birds have an innate sense of when they are “on camera”, and are $@^&! bastards about it.

    My least-favourite tactic of theirs is the one where you’ve found a bird in a tree, you DO have the camera, you DO have the correct-length lens on it, and you have only ONE angle from which you can get a clear shot … and they fly to the side of the tree trunk directly opposite from where you are standing.

    And perch there for about 30 minutes.

    I’ve largely given up trying to photograph birds in forests.

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