One Good Bird

When I started birding with Ruth Sullivan several years ago, if we hadn’t see many birds she would say, “All we need is one good bird.” After seeing very few birds at Ocean Shores after four hours of walking, I was beginning to remember her saying.

“One good bird” turned out to be a Red-necked Phalarope, and I first saw them at the sewage plant. There were several small flocks all swirling around, chasing insects, so many that it was hard to get a picture without leaving body parts on the edge of the picture,

Red-necked Phalaropes

and I never did manage to get a good shot of a single phalarope no matter how hard I tried.

Strangely enough, several hours later at Westport I spotted a small bird in the distance which turned out to be a single Rednecked Phalarope.

Red-necked Phalarope

Since I had always seen phalaropes on small ponds, I was surprised to see one on the ocean (though it turns out a little research indicates that they’re more apt to be seen on the ocean than on ponds).

Long after I had given up getting a good shot, I started back the parking lot only to see the bird circling next to the dock and I got some great close-ups,

 Red-necked Phalarope

better than I’ve ever managed to get before. Hey, it made my day. And the day wasn’t even over.

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