Rule #1 – Bring your Camera

small flock of dunlin - calidris alpini - feed along the shore of penn cove in washington state

   This is something I have learned the hard way. While I am not going to bring the SLR when I go to the grocery store, I have learned to bring it with me if there even a decent chance of finding something interesting to photograph. There have been many times when I have found something interesting – and every time this happens my camera has done me little good sitting in its bag back home. This can be a bitter pill to swallow when one comes across something spectacular.

small flock of dunlin - calidris alpina - feed along the shore of penn cove in washington state

   A few days ago I accompanied a friend on a journey to Washington State to buy a new vehicle. I debated whether I should bring the camera bag or not. It was quite likely that I would not have time to shoot anything – and also quite likely I would see nothing to shoot. I’ve had this debate before – and opted to not bring my equipment with me. Frequently this has worked out just fine, but other times I have missed great opportunities by leaving my equipment at home. So this time I brought it all with me.

   Glad I did!

small flock of dunlin - calidris alpina - feed along the shore of penn cove in washington state

   We stopped for a quick break along SR20 in San de Fuca which is just outside of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Walked down to the shore and there was a small flock of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging along the shore. A quick dash back to the car and I began stalking them along the shore. Not very skittish at all, but they did move along the shore away from me when I approached. I had to hide behind old timbers of a dock to get as close as possible. Normally it is much better to sit and wait for a group like this to wander back towards you, but they did not seem alarmed by my presence and I had no time to camp out. Dunlin spend their time here on the coasts of Washington State and British Columbia in the winter – fattening themselves up before a migration to their summer breeding grounds in Alaska and along the shores of Hudson Bay.

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7 Responses to “Rule #1 – Bring your Camera”

  1. Henrik says:

    This is sooooo true. I have done this many times too, leaving my camera at home.

  2. Donna says:

    Umm, not a bad idea to take it to the grocery store. My husband got some great shots of Eagles locking talons while waiting for me to run into the grocery store. Don’t leave home without it.
    Love the shots by the way.

    • Michael says:

      I will be more likely to bring my camera bag everywhere when I get some equipment insurance! Until then it will occasionally stay home if I will not be able to keep an eye on it. Eagles locking talons above the grocery store would be exactly one of the “bitter pills to swallow” I mentioned though!

  3. Christopher says:

    Words to live by–glad you had it with you for these little gems!

  4. Monica says:

    Live and learn. Love those Dunlins!

  5. Eric Lelsie says:

    I probably wouldn’t bring my camera into the grocery store, but I would definitely have it in the trunk of my car.

    I never want to have any regrets.

  6. mel says:

    always good to have the camera ready 😉

    sweet birds, never saw them before

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