2023—Willet Braving the Surf

Once I tried “beach panning” in 2016 for the first time, I was hooked. I call it “beach panning” but I’m not sure if there is a technical term for laying flat on the sand with a telephoto lens and camera on a panning plate. There is something absolutely magical about seeing shore birds at eye level with the background dissolving into a blur. Getting down onto the sand is relatively easy. Getting back up, while avoiding getting sand on your camera, not so easy. But it is so worth it. On our last morning in Florida, we returned to the beach at Fort De Soto. My two favorite shore birds were in evidence, Sanderlings and a lone Willet. Watching this Willet walk boldly into the surf was fascinating. It recoiled just a bit as a wave rolled toward it, then it boldly continued walking in the surf, even stopping to preen its feathers while the waves surrounded it.