This is one of my favorite images from last year. It was taken in early May, 2010 at Bottle Beach State Park on the Washington Coast.
About Western Sandpipers:
The majority of Western Sandpipers migrate up the Pacific Coast concentrating on the Copper River Delta, Alaska in mid-May. They then move northward and breed in the tundra of Alaska and Siberia. The estimated world population is 3.5 to 4 million, a huge decline from 1973 when 6.5 million Westerns were counted at the Copper River Delta. The northward migration is concentrated in a few short weeks on the Washington Coast from early April to mid-May. This contrast to the long protracted fall migration which lasts from late June to mid-September, with females departing the Arctic first, then the males, then finally juveniles in large numbers in mid-August to mid-September. While Western Sandpipers are one of the smaller species of sandpipers, they still manage to migrate 4,500 to 7,000 miles a year.
Early morning light, getting very low (to get eye level with the sandpiper) makes this an interesting image. The drop of water hanging in mid-air adds a magical factor to the image. The technical data: Canon EOS 7D, 600mm lens with a 1.4 extender, ISO 200, F5.6 at 1/1250 of a second. Lots of light and a fast shutter speed allow me to capture the water droplet in mid-air.