Fortunately when you are into photography as well as birding, even a day without any really notable finds can still be rewarding, as was the case on this day. We had amazingly close photo opportunities with 3 species - Mourning Dove, White-winged Crossbill (more on that later) and American Golden-Plover.
We first noticed an American Golden-plover when we were doing a riverwatch near the Polar Bear Lodge in "downtown" Moosonee, overlooking the Moose River. It was an adult bird - a strange late date for one this far north. It eventually flew, but we caught up with it (and a handful of juvenile goldens) on a lawn near the train station later in the morning.
Using a bit of stealth and a lot of luck, we were able to slowly inch closer to them and obtain some full-frame photos.
But eventually they returned to feeding. It was obvious why they had picked this lawn - it was full of earthworms! The plovers would keep a sharp eye out for the appetizing Annelids, then quickly pull one up out of the ground. Once a plover grabbed a worm, it was a matter of milliseconds until it was down the hatch! Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to get any good action shots.
It often seems that there is a dichotomy between "birders" and "photographers" - you are either one or the other. Some birders get annoyed with photographers, and vise versa. I consider myself a hybrid between the two, and this experience with the plovers was a perfect example. Because I was trying to take photos of them, I ended up crawling on my belly until I was a few feet from them and enjoyed half an hour of watching their behavior from up close. Being a photographer put me in a position to see some really awesome behavior that I wouldn't have seen otherwise!
Occasionally, the plovers would hunker down in the grass, presumably due to some perceived threat (like a raptor in the sky). It was surprisingly difficult to spot them like this - obviously a great evolutionary adaptation to avoid predators.
My favorite photo from the whole sequence...