The Gentle approach

An early start provides an opportunity to join this Wandering Tattler probing in the rocks and flipping stones in search its morning meal.

To get photos like these it is important to spend the time necessary to gain trust by observing from a distance. This also gives a chance to see the bird’s behavior and plan a strategy to get in position for a good shot. In this case, I could see the bird was hunting from pool to pool and generally moving in a predictable direction. I then move ahead of this path and find a spot where I can get a low camera position (bird’s eye level) to give the feeling that you are right there with the subject. It’s a good sign the bird is not feeling threatened when it approaches you. This lack of concern is key to getting good behavior and action which adds interest to the images. Finally, a bit of luck comes into play as the shorebird moves through the scene. Will it catch something while in the frame? It just might, so be ready!

shore bird hunting in tide pool on Maui
Wandering Tattler
a shorebird catches a crab on Maui