Home Photoblog Trips and pictures Florida 2010 – V – Waders – not a simple task!

Map of visitors

Latest pictures

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

Latest in portfolio

Latest articles

Latest birdwatching

Monday, 01 March 2010 19:19

Florida 2010 – V – Waders – not a simple task!


It will only be short this time, I have nothing special to write about and my head is now engaged with other project (will hopefully be announced soon). I was really looking forward to processing pictures of Florida waders – those are my favourite birds and there are plenty of them in Florida – what a joy! After picking out the best pictures (for me) there are still 29 photos “suitable for publishing” so I have to do the selection once again, not very simple indeed!...well it will be more about pictures than the stories today but who cares about stories :-)


Sanderling (Calidris alba), Fort Desoto:


Waders got their name from being wading the water or mud and that is also their activity you can observe most of the time:


American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), Fort Desoto:




Black-bellied (Grey) (Pluvialis squatarola), Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers:




Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers:




Willet (Tringa semipalmata), Fort Desoto:




When you bird in foreign countries it is wise to prepare carefully and study all the most common species of that area first. If you fly overseas, you can be sure that bird identification is not only difficult because of the number of species that North America hosts but in my case also little experience with birding in general – if you know very well the European avifauna, you are on a good way, there are many species common for both areas. But that is not my case and so I used the technique “shoot everything and look it up later in books” in Florida quite often.


Goodie! Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), Little Estero Lagoon:




Ballerina - Willet (Tringa semipalmata), Sebastian Inlet State Park:




Something good inside! - American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), Fort Desoto:



1D3_0986PS Especially when taking pictures of Waders I used this technique most of the time – it is easy to recognize all the Herons and Egrets as well as the other large birds, Passerines are not really abundant in Florida in winter but what about Waders? – 1D3_9020PS They linger on the beaches all year round but in the winter plumage it is sometimes a hard task to identify. You can easily overlook pale colored Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in the flock of similarly but darker colored Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) or you can have doubts (as I did) whether that fluffy white-brown thing on the beach in front of you is Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri), Sanderling (Calidris alba) or Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla).


Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), Marco Island:



Black-bellied (Grey) (Pluvialis squatar), Fort Desoto:



There are fortunately also waders in Florida that cannot be mistaken with other birds like Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) or Willet (Tringa semipalmata).1D3_8871PS Although I have a lot of waders photos from Florida, it could have probably been even better! When going through all the pictures carefully I found out I also brought some species I did not know I had been photographing – those birds looked a bit different to me so I took few shots for ID purposes. I got a birding lesson again – after a while one can forget to check what are those small birds foraging on the beach – of course, in most cases they are usual wader species but very often there are some less common birds amongst them. I for instance almost overlooked Short-billed Dowitchers (limnodromus griseus) wading with other birds in the shallow waters of Bunche Beach in Fort Myers. I remember its close relative Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) very well from 2008 trip to Canada but the winter plumage causes great confusion!



Short-billed Dowitcher (limnodromus griseus), Bunche Beach, Fort Myers:



IMG_5455PS Although waders occupy literally every beach in Florida, there are places with better possibilities for close views and photography. This is my choice of the best places I visited: Sebastian Inlet State Park in the eastern coast with flocks of waders and other birds and beautiful beaches full of shells; Little Estero Lagoon in Fort Myers where most people are heading for pictures of Egrets and Ibises, it is at least as good spot for small waders – especially Plovers and I was lucky to see Little Stint (Calidris Minutilla) too. 1D3_1247PS The Top waders` spot for me and in general for the whole Florida trip as well was Fort Desoto South of St. Petersburg in western coast of Florida. The spot which is a must-see if you like birding or bird photography! Beautiful sandy beaches with very flat dip that host flocks of birds foraging along the waterline pecking out the goodies washed out by the sea. Photographing all the Plovers, Turnstones and Oystercatchers feeding on shells and echinoderms was one of the best experience from all the Florida travelling…



Another from the less common species – Red Knot (Calidris canutus), Fort Desoto:

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 17:47
Comments (34)
  • Luboš Kadeřávek

    Ahoj! Pochoutka! a Baletka jsou pro mě favority ! :) Luboš

  • Jirka Slama

    Diky Lubosi, nekdy je tezke urcit ktera fotka je nejhezci, cloveku se k nim vazou vlastni vzpominky ale je fakt ze ten Kulik s zizalou je pro me asi ten nej...bavil jsem se tam s jednim chlapikem z New Jersey kdyz nam tenhle pipik predvedl krasny "boj" s cervikem, lehl jsem rychle na zem a zvakal - z 6 fotek jen tato opravdu povedena, zaverka ho zblizka vyplasila tak dalsi fotky jsou mimo rovinu ostrosti...

  • jason bonsey

    hi could you please help me identify my wading birds from cuba. many thanks jason

  • Jiri Slama

    Hi Jason, send me link or pictures to my email, another option that I sometimes also use is the great forum at http://birdforum.net/


  • Anonymous  - wangzha

    It is a time consuming process to locate a legitimate, high-quality designer Michael Kors Handbags Clearance at a decent price. One brand name that is sought after is the Michael Kors Outlet Store. Anywhere you see high demand you will find people out to make a quick buck.

Write comment

[b] [i] [u] [s] [url] [quote] [code] [img]   


Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.