While driving along the auto tour road at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I was looking for a wildlife photography opportunity that would capture my attention. Suddenly, a bird caught my eye as it was walking in a nearby field. At first glance, I mistook it for a Mourning Dove, but as I approached closer, I realized it was not what I initially thought.
Thanks to the help of my dear friend Mia McPherson, who is also an avid bird photographer, I learned that this bird was actually an Upland Sandpiper. With its strikingly unique features, the Upland Sandpiper is a bird that is hard to miss. Known for its long neck, small head, and an overall slender physique, it’s no surprise that it’s not easily mistaken for other birds.
I quickly pulled over to the side of the road in my pickup truck and started to capture photos of this magnificent bird. Being able to photograph the Upland Sandpiper was a momentous occasion for me as it was the first time I had ever come across it.
What makes the Upland Sandpiper stand out even more is that it’s one of the few shorebird species that prefer to breed and nest in open grasslands, as opposed to marshes or wetlands. This makes it an essential bird to look out for, especially for wildlife enthusiasts and bird photographers who are exploring open areas with tall grass or prairies.
Overall, the experience of photographing an Upland Sandpiper was a perfect way to end my day at the refuge. It’s always a thrill to come across a new and exciting species, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have captured it on camera.
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM
First Photo Only
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: April 18, 2023 (09:26 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/2000
- ISO: 1250 (Auto)
- Exposure Compensation: 0
- Focal Length: 800 mm
Steve, I just love these images. Congrats on the lifer bird!