Semipalmated Sandpiper captured by Z 9 / Z400f4.5 w/Z1.4x

It was a very challenging week, no doubt about it! Following a long ago desire, we went searching for the legendary fall migration of shorebirds that hit MA shores. The hard drive was pretty empty at the start of the last day that should have been full of images from the week. Then, the last day, the last spot, the last hour, literally, we were in the sand amongst hundreds of shorebirds! On a narrow strip of beach, fifteen feet wide with high tide an hour away, we lay there in the sand at Red River. The four of us were shooting the Z 9 / Z400f4.5 with either a Z1.4 or Z2x as shorebird flock after shorebird flock landed in front of us and then paraded past us. Sanderling and Semipalmated Sandpiper, Willet and Rudder Turnstone and much more went by within inches, walking right down the lens barrel in the process. The sun and wind were on our back, the perfect combo (though the wind was gusting to 25mph blowing sand in places I’m still discovering). After about fifteen minutes we had to stretch our necks, we don’t get up from our prone position, just stretch. It’s then we go to Battery Info to see what the image count was for each of us. Then, every time we had to wobble left so the incoming tide didn’t soak Auntie, we would check them again. The numbers were impressive! The Z 9’s AF makes shooting a ton knowing you’re getting sharp images real easy. After an hour, the birds, waves and necks said it was time to go. My count for the hour, 8545. I was very happy! Auntie hit the Menu Button, toggled over to the Battery Info and let out a huge and as happy as you can be after a shoot shout, 10402! The factual thing is that’s how many images she had taken in that hour, but that’s not why we look or talk about these numbers. It’s how over the years we gauge how much fun a shoot was. This was simply a marvelous hour with our wild heritage, brilliant. And the number, well, 10402 pegs the fun meter!

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