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View of a bathing plover is product of local knowledge, photo smarts, and stillness

Black-bellied-Plover-5
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Grand Harbour West Dykes, Grand Cayman Island, December 27, 2014, 7:38 a.m., by Raybel Robles

Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, lies due south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. On the island’s south side, just east of the capital George Town, is an area of wetlands and mangroves known as the Grand Harbour West Dykes, a good spot to find wintering shorebirds.

Raybel Robles
Raybel Robles

The Black-bellied Plover pictured above was one of about 60 that spent the past winter at the dykes, says photographer Raybel Robles. He tells us he was lying down, photographing a Black-necked Stilt one morning in late December, when about 15 to 20 plovers landed close by.

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