During a recent 10 mile weekend run, I
spotted a very peculiar sight on the small lake at the Payson
Golf course. Never before had I seen these large gull sized birds
anywhere in Payson before, and there were dozens of them in one
huge flock. Once I got home, and after getting cleaned up we
took a trip back to the lake, and fortunately they were still
there. Using my 10D, and 100-400mmL lens I was able to get fairly
close to them and obtain some remarkable portraits.
Later on after
pouring through numerous bird books, we found out that these
birds were shore birds called "Willets" (Caloptrophorus
semipalmatus) which are related to Sandpipers, and migrate frequently
passing from California coastal areas through Arizona occasionally.
We may never see them pass through our area again, and I am glad
we were fortunate enough to capture images of them on this visit!