A few of Frank Lake’s Avocets

Wave runner - 2013 © Christopher Martin-9644

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/2500th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

I have fallen in love with American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) this year.  These birds are beautiful and I enjoy watching them high step in the shallow water as they fish for insects and small crustaceans.  Following the floods, which devastated nearby High River, I went down to Frank Lake – curious to learn how the wildlife that summers there had fared.  I was very happy to see masses of birds in their respective nesting areas and flying overhead.  I can’t say the lake wasn’t impacted but its residents appeared to be doing well.

Water drops - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/3200th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

I found a small colony of Avocets dispersed over a couple of hundred metres of shoreline west of the viewing blind on the lake.  They were fishing close to the sand and within a couple of minutes of my arrival had drifted quite close apparently unconcerned with my presence.   I settled in and spent most of the next hour following their activity on the water.

Curious? - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/4000th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Seeing them fight over fishing territory is exciting as well.  When one of the Avocets drifted past an invisible line, its neighbour would race across the water to confront the offender.  It occurred only a couple of times while I watched them but the flurry of activity had my camera clicking and my attention captured.  Usually one ends up running away but on one occasion the defender felt the need to take to the air and truly chase the other one away.  Below, the chaser is falling back to the water while the other Avocet carried on several metres further along.

The end of a territorial dispute - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/500th of a second at f/11 on ISO 1600

The landing was nice as it banked slightly just above the water which created the opportunity for a dynamic image.

Reching for the landing - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/320th of a second at f/11 on ISO 1600

Most of the time was spent watching the repetition of their stalk, pause, dip, sweep and catch cycle.

Water rolls - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/4000th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

It seemed to go by quickly as enjoyable things often do.

Caught - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/2500th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

5 responses

  1. Pingback: White-faced Ibis on the prairies | Christopher Martin Photography

  2. Kane Beatz

    Reblogged this on Beatz kane Blog.

    August 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm

  3. I like them them all but the banked landing was my favourite.

    August 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

  4. Superb series, Chris.

    August 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm

  5. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Very nice shots.
    I could spend hours watching birds on the water, but rarely see much more than gulls (of one species or another).

    August 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Your comments are truly appreciated - thank you for visiting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s