Three shooting locations and three different light situations, by managing the light, shadows, angle the light was striking the birds, it all works. The beautiful warm light of early morning and late afternoon are best, but not always possible so let's figure out how to work with what we have.
On foggy mornings it's even more important to expose to the right and get the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights or overexposing. Otherwise everything turns out dark gray.
Shooting at high noon with bright light and dark shadows equals contrast, it's important to manage the shadows. Since all the shadows are behind the bird - except for a little on the neck, this image works. Yes, it would have been better to make this in the sweet morning light, but that wasn't possible, so this is under the category of, "making the best of the given situation". Manage the light!
Okay, finally at the end of the day, some nice warm evening, magic hour light, and a Whimbrel that forgot its got a probing beak, not a short, sharp beak for eating barnacles. I've never seen them eat like this, so it was a treat to watch them work the rocks. In this light, just keep the sun at your back, and have fun.
Enjoy Thanks Tim