Photographer: Mark Wangerin, Seattle

Photo taken: Feb. 2, just south of Alki Lighthouse, West Seattle

Photographer’s description: “It was below freezing and there was a chilling breeze. I noticed that the sanderlings flew into the breeze and traveled downwind to feed. I maneuvered slowly to the water’s edge and hoped they would come to me. I remained still for over an hour. The flock continued to feed and moved to within 10 feet and then past me. Eventually, I headed for the car and home, where I sat by a roaring fire before even looking over my photos! Taken with Nikon D90 with Sigma 150-500mm zoom.”

Expert says: “Y’all are going to help me get over my fear of birds this year, I just know it. I like the depth of field in this photo caused by the compression of the long lens. The layers of the birds are a nice touch and they are separated just enough as to not crowd the frame. It makes me smile when I hear that the photographer camped out to get the photo — true dedication.”

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— Katie G. Cotterill, Seattle Times photo staff

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