Willet – Captiva Island, Florida: While shooting shorebirds on Captiva Island, I found a flock of willets resting along the high tide mark. With beaks tucked under wings and standing on one leg the willets were poised in a classic rest pose.
As I set-up my camera to shoot, an ever present beachgoer gravitated to the birds to check them out. By the time I got the camera and lens on the tripod the birds had been disturbed and had begun moving back and forth toward the tide line. As the birds tried to avoid the beachcomber they would run to the waters edge and then back to the high tide mark. With the beachcomber passed, the willets would again strike that classic rest pose only to be disturbed by another beachcomber.
This image was taken as the birds were being disturbed by another passersby. The lead bird, always alert, is seen ready to act and guide the others from possible danger. The impending action and sharpness of the lead bird gives this image its focal point; but it is the various stages of awakening and sharpness among the background birds that gives the image its interest and impact.