Thursday, April 26, 2012

Black-necked Stilt

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Black-necked Stilt
Merritt Island, Black Point Dr
Black-necked Stilts are one of my top three shorebirds (the others being avocets and oystercatchers).  The first time I saw one these I was mesmerized. Even though it was a long way off, I took perhaps 100 pictures of it in the hopes that just one turned out.  Since then I've seen them plenty of times when they've been relatively close.   A couple weeks ago I was at Merritt Island, and a couple were pretty close to shore  They didn't seem to mind me one bit crouched down on the shore shooting off hundreds of photos.  It's my favorite place to go to find this wonderful bird.

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Black-necked Stilt
Merritt Island, East Gator Creek
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Black-necked Stilt
Merritt Island, Black Point Dr
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Black-necked Stilt
Merritt Island, Peacock's Pocket
Earlier in the year, I saw one flying over Orlando Wetlands Park, where they're a little more unusual to find.  I doubt it ever landed in the park, but it flew by close enough to get one of my favorites of the bird in flight.

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Black-necked Stilt
Orlando Wetlands Park
These birds can be an exposure challenge. At first glance, they appear to be all black and white, and that in itself is a challenge, since you run the risk of losing detail in the dark feathers if you underexpose and in the white feathers if you over expose.  However, if you look carefully at those darker feathers, you can see hues of other colors there (to my eyes, they look like dark blues and browns).

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Black-necked Stilt
Merritt Island, Black Point Dr
For me, it's most important to capture those colors so I slightly over expose, even if the sun is directly behind me.

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