Spring Migration

This weekend Grays Harbor County is holding their Annual Shorebird Festival and if the weather forecasters are to believed they should finally be getting some good weather. I’ve already been to the area twice in the last two weeks and would’ve been there even more if the weather had been better.

I first observed the bird migration two years ago and haven’t missed one since, either the spring or the fall migration. As long as I can still drive, I don’t plan on missing another one.

Strangely, I like the feeling of “insignificance” I get from being surrounded by thousands of birds moving up and down the coast in huge waves.

a wave of shorebirds

and standing on a beach while thousands of shorebirds move steadily toward me until they totally surround me has been a “peak” experience.

chaotic landing

Most shorebirds don’t seem to have songs, per se, but you find yourself immersed in the sound of thousands of birds talking to each other.

Dunlin cheeping

Like most birders, I try hard not to disturb these birds whose very life depends on regaining the strength to continue their arduous journey. So it’s particularly reassuring when birds suddenly decide to take a quick nap mere feet in front of you.

Sleeping Dowitcher

The whole experience draws me back time after time, but the indefinable beauty of species like the Black-Bellied Plover is a vital part of that experience.

Black-Bellied Plover

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