It is not too soon to be on the lookout for Lesser Yellowlegs migrating through northern Utah, as shorebird migration can start as early as July.
Lesser Yellowlegs at Farmington Bay WMA – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
To my delight, on September 12th of last year, I found a flock of mixed Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs at Farmington Bay WMA. Even though I photographed the other birds in that area, I dedicated most of my time photographing the Lesser Yellowlegs because I don’t have them in my viewfinder very often.
I took several hundred images of the Lesser Yellowlegs, and I have zero regrets about doing that. If I hadn’t observed other photographers also eager to photograph them, I might have taken several hundred more. Instead I moved on.
Lesser Yellowlegs on fall migration in Utah – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Why was I so happy to photograph these Lesser Yellowlegs?
Because, until last September, all I really had were documentary images of this species. Taking these yellowleg images thrilled me. I had been looking forward to capturing them for years.
My advice is to take as many images as you can of rare, uncommon, or bird species that you don’t have many high quality photos of when you are given the opportunity. I know I have regrets about not obtaining more photos of certain bird species.
Lesser Yellowlegs foraging at Farmington Bay WMA – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I didn’t return to Farmington Bay WMA on the 13th of September last year, but I heard from other photographers that the migrating Lesser Yellowlegs were nowhere to be found just one day later. So, no, I don’t regret taking as many photos as I did.
Calling Lesser Yellowlegs – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
These Lesser Yellowlegs look very similar to Greater Yellowlegs which means people can confuse them. I did a comparison between the two species last year, if you are interested in learning how to tell the difference between the two yellowleg species, click here.
I know I will be keeping a lookout for the migrating Lesser Yellowlegs, will you?
Life is good.
Click here to see more of my Lesser Yellowlegs photos plus facts and information about this species.
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Autor Mia McPherson