Eldorado Water Treatment Ponds – Willet

Willet. (Tringa semipalmata).  There are two species of this shorebird.  The Eastern Willet and the Western Willet.  These photos of course, are of the Western species. They are larger and more stockier than the greater Yellowlegs.  And of course, they have gray legs.  They prefer to stay around wet prairies and fields.

I am into birding as much as I am into photography.  These photos may not be as esthetic as I may like them to be, but they do represent what a Willet is supposed to look like.  They were both taken when we made our trip to the water treatment ponds at Eldorado on Wednesday.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get as close to him as I did.

As I am want to do, when photographing birds, I make sure that I can stop the action if necessary.  Shorebirds, sandpipers, and others are always on the move, feeding and bobbing around.  So I opted to shoot in shutter priority, which doesn’t always provide the depth of field, or the larger apertures that I sometimes like.  You know, the larger openings that would provide me a more blurred background.  But having said that, the rocky background probably was to close to the bird to make much difference anyway.  I was shooting at f6.3 and I could only go to f5.6 with my set-up.  But, nevertheless, I think you will enjoy these images.

The photo EXIF data is the same for each one.  You may click on either image to see an enlargement.



  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 500mm IS lens with 1.4 tele-converter
  • 1/2000 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 500
  • Lens focal distance  700mm
  • Metering – partial
  • Shutter priority

10 thoughts on “Eldorado Water Treatment Ponds – Willet

  1. You always know what’s best, Bob! Me…. I probably would have still attempted to shoot in aperture priority!! 😛 There is still enough of a clear difference between the Willet and the background – and, as always, amazing clarity and detail!

    BTW – “Willet or won’t it”???? HA HA!!! 😀

    • I like to shoot aperture priority if I know that the subject isn’t going to move around much, especially scenics or slow moving beasts. But in shooting birds, I can’t always guarantee that I will have a fast enough shutter speed in aperture priority, especially if the light isn’t good. So in shutter priority, I know that I will. I also set my camera at auto ISO, so it won’t try overriding my settings. It will just bump my ISO so I can keep my fast shutter speeds.

      So enough of the Willet puns. HA Ha!! 🙂

  2. Beautiful images Bob! I really like how you capture the birds as they are, where they are. While the backround may not be as blurred as you might hope for, to me it adds a great context to the bird. 🙂

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