Photo taken November 3, 2017.
Canon 6D, Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD at 600mm, 1/2000sec at f/10 and ISO 1600, photographer prone on ground.
Processing. Only basic Lightroom sliders, no brushes. subtle vignetting added to enhance attention on the main birds.
Photo was previously recognized as Audubon Photography Awards Top 100 in 2019 (but did not win).
At Arrowhead Marsh in the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline, a boardwalk juts out into the tidal wetland near San Francisco Bay. Patient birders flock here for glimpses of local rarities such as Ridgeway’s Rails or Nelson’s Sparrows, or to enjoy the many species of waterfowl and shorebirds that use the bay. Sometimes high tide will push the more common shorebirds to seek a dry roosting spot. On this visit, wave after wave of Marbled Godwit, Willet, and other species landed on the farthest end of the boardwalk. As more birds landed, the earlier arrivals had to make space, resulting in a mass of shorebirds shuffling towards me. The wide shots of the whole mass were quite surreal, but this detail shot of (primarily) godwits, with their bright pink bills accenting the subtle variation in their brown plumage, is one of my favorites. The one on the right seems to be a contrarian and faces to the left when all his colleagues face right!