Sand Flat Willet « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Sand Flat Willet


I enjoyed a relaxing Friday in Southern California.

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 4 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). The (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on is now part of the trip.

Please call 863-692-0906 for info on the substantial Late Registration Discount.

Here is some great info on the July 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT: I have finalized the cottage and vehicle rental arrangements. We have room for several additional folks, at least for a couple and single. And I am in position, as noted above, to offer a rather substantial late registration discount. Please call us at 863-692-0906 or get in touch via e-mail. Click here and scroll down for additional details and the travel plans.

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera (Body Only): Save $200 And get a free grip/Expires Saturday 6/17

Father’s Day Special: Nikon D500 on Sale

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera (Body Only): Save $200 And get a free grip/Expires Saturday 6/17

Lots of folks on recent IPTs have been using and loving this crop factor body, often with the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens. To learn more about the camera body or to purchase, click here.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

This image was created on the morning of Friday June 16 on the beach at Carpinteria, CA with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

One row down and three AF points to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the top part of the reflection of the rear leg; don’t ask me why but the image is razor sharp on the eye.

Willet capturing sand crab

Sand Flat Willet

I took a walk down the beach at Carpinteria hand holding the 500 II with the 1.4X III TC. The tide was about half way in (or half way out) exposing some sandbars separated from the shore by some foot-deep channels. There were lots of Willets feeding. Most were in an inch or two of water. But some made their way onto the sand flat where the backgrounds were much cleaner. The shorebirds were nowhere near as tame as those at Fort Desoto but over time, as I approached them, they became more accepting of me and continued feeding rather than moving off a few yards. I had a very few chances with the birds on the wet sand and was surprised when today’s featured image popped up on the retina screen of my MacBook Pro

Note: Without having my tripod for support, I was extremely careful when crossing the channels to the bar.

Image Critique

Feel free to critique this image. Let us know what you like and what you don’t like. Suggestions for improving it either in the field or during post processing are welcome as well. DO know that sitting down was not an option 🙂

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.


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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

12 comments to Sand Flat Willet

  • Nice image like the open bill and blue background.

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Go north on the 101 thru Santa Barbara to Los Positas dr. Go left toward the coast, right on cliff dr, parking lot on your left. I think the tide really needs to be low to expose the rocks. It’s been a while, but when I was there with the rocks exposed, made for some fun stuff with the Willets and, I think, snowy plover groups working the kelp. Suggest you check the tides. The restaurant is called the Boathouse at Henry’s Beach. Lots of great places to eat in SB however. Possibility of an afternoon shoot and dinner on the beach. Note of caution, traffic on the 101 can be tough, especially on Sunday afternoon, but mainly southbound. Whatever you do, enjoy!


  • avatar Kerry Morris

    great shot!
    love the calm water; love the position of the bird – rump lined up with upper left corner perfectly; love the open bill with crab; love the reflection in the water.
    i wouldn’t change anything!!!!
    have fun in So. Cal. Carpenteria is a great little town. There is a marsh there as well.
    Also, FYI in Ventura there are nesting sites for Snowy Plovers – posted on e-bird as recently as June 13th!!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks on all counts girl-Kerry. The marsh sucked; that’s how I wound up at the beach 🙂

      with love, artie

  • Love this shot Artie, it would be interesting to see how getting lower to the bird would have affected the shot, I think that if you had been able to get down to eye level with the bird then you would have lost the shape of the ripples. I love the positioning of the willet in the frame with the reflection and that the ripples are radiating from the centre of the frame. Did you consider removing the strand of weed on beak, I am not sure whether it adds or subtracts from the image? The head angle seems pretty good, the lower mandible seems to be tilted slightly away compared to the upper mandible, however it doesn’t bother me. Glad to hear (from the last few day’s posts) that the Palouse IPT was a success,

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jake. I agree that in this (and some other cases) that getting lower is not always the best move. What you are seeing as a strand of weed appears to be sand grab goo :)The head angle is in fact perfect from where I am sitting (which is in McDonald’s having just finished breakfast on Sunday morning. with love, artie

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Love your shore birds Artie, always do and this is no exception. No suggestions from here. Like the left foot slightly out of the water, helps a bunch. Bird well balanced, and the reflection is perfect. Low tide in the Carpentaria/Santa Barbara area typically provides opportunities. Henry’s beach in Santa Barbara north of the restaurant during low tide offers exposed rocks and flocks of sandpipers often work the exposed kelp which makes for some interesting group shots. By the way, the restaurant is excellent, at least it used to be. Don’t remember the name. Appreciate the post as usual.

    Enjoy your stay in Carpentaria. We are in Montana and got some great opportunities with Bald Eagles yesterday. Chicks in two nests so the adults are hanging around. A first for me with Bald’s.

    All the best,

    Laurie and Frank

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks and good going on the eagles. How do I find Henry’s Beach? With love, artie

  • avatar Bob Allen

    You’re out here right now???

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I think it’s a fine image and I have no critique. I think, though, that there’s a typo in the caption: sand grab instead of sand crab.