When I had returned from my last trip to Bellevue beach I wasn't overly happy with how everything went. I realized I had gotten so focused on one subject and didn't move around as much to try different angles or other subjects.
In most cases it takes multiple trips to a location before I really start to understand how the light falls in the area and where the sweet spots are. Where the best reflections can be had and the best backgrounds for the subject you are capturing. I've only been to Bellevue a handful of times.
So this past weekend I made a return trip to Bellevue. The weather and tides were shaping up to make for a perfect morning. When I arrived at the park entrance it turned out the park was closed for the season so I parked on the side of the road and started to make my way down to the beach and out to the mussel bed. The sunrise in front of me was quite dramatic and made for a nice walk
Of course there were a few eagles on the moving looking for some breakfast. I wished I had my 70-200mm lens for this image because right above him was the sun peeking through the clouds creating some beautiful rays.
Nearing the end of the walk there is a side trail I normally take that leads me along a kind of outflow area. Below is an image looking back down through.
There are normally a number of shorebirds along this area at higher tide since at low tide most of the shorebirds head to the mussel bed. Along my walk I came across a Greater Yellowlegs fishing from the tops of the seaweed beds. Since I wasn't in a rush (because the tides were still dropping) I decided to spend a little time with him.
Getting low and into the water really helped create some beautiful images,
Moving along I came across a single Semipalmated Plover that seemed to be enjoying some sun bathing on top of his own seaweed patch.
It took me a little while but this guy allowed me to get really close and so I was able to capture this vertical image with a nice reflection.
After those few distractions I finally made it to the end of the beach and at the mussel bed.
The tide wasn't all the way down so it gave me enough time to get into position. With chest waders on I carefully moved myself out into the middle of the mussel bed and sat on an open patch of sand. Right from the start I could tell the Black Bellied Plovers were in playful mood. They were continuously calling to each other and fighting.
My plan was not to spend anytime with them but with such close fly bys I couldn't resist. So for the next half hour I spent trying to capture some inflight shots.
Lucky for me the BB Plovers would take similar flight paths so after a few failed attempts I started to get better results.
Tell finally I felt I had a decent shot
There are such great opportunities to capture inflight shots at Bellevue but I just find the background undesirable. Most of the birds fly low to the ground meaning most of the BG is out of focus mussels which to me isn't appealing.
The BB Plovers slowly toned things down and began feeding. One individual came in for a close look so I grabbed a few frames before switching my attention to other subjects.
Part 2 coming soon...