Well as I said earlier this month Spring birding is around the corner. Now that we are in the final week of March most coastal areas should be picking up with activity. The only way to know for sure is to go out and spend some time with the binos and the camera. The migration should keep up all the way through May depending upon where you are in the US. If you’re down in Florida or Texas then you might want to head to those beaches.
Remember when it comes to shorebirds there are many variables to watch for. Make sure the background and foreground aren’t too busy, watch the angle of the light, try to be level with the subject not looking down at it, watch the birds gesture and most important don’t chase the birds. Shorebirds have a habit of walking away and towards you as the tide brings in food. Work your way up to them but don’t chase them.
As for your equipment go minimal, don’t carry a lot with you. It doesn’t help you or the subject you are trying to work with if you have a lot of gear moving around. Don’t put your hands in the sand because then it will get on your camera gear. Use your forearms as much as possible. Bring a towel with you to brush off dry sand. Never brush off wet sand because that could get lodged into places you don’t want it to.
Lastly be smart. Don’t go to a really busy beach for birds. Try and find somewhere more private so you get less interruptions from people and less potential for problems. Going out early will also help with this and it will give you better light.
These are just a couple of tips that I’ve picked up over the years. The best advice is always to just keep shooting and to learn from your past mistakes and accomplishments.
Image captured with Nikon D5, 600f/4 on Lexar UDMA Digital Film