“All We Need is One Good Bird”

I attended Ruth Sullivan’s memorial in Ocean Shores this weekend. I met Ruth just as I was beginning to bird, and she taught me much of what I know about birding, particularly the best places to find birds on the Coast.

After all our birding trips to Ocean Shores and Westport, it seemed wrong to drive to the beach and not do some birding. Because we were out of sync with the tides, I decided to go to Westport in hopes of seeing loons and pelicans.

Instead, we were surprised by large flocks of Marbled Godwits in the marina. Perhaps I should have expected to see Godwits, though, because Ruth loved Marbled Godwits; we almost always ended a beach trip by looking for Godwits at Tokeland.


The Marbled Godwit is an elegant shorebird with an upturned bill


which it uses to probe for insects.


Just how far it probes was made clear by the many Godwits who had mud caked at the top of their beaks.


We didn’t see a single loon at Westport and remarkably few Pelicans, but it was hard to forget Ruth’s mantra “All we need is One Good Bird.”

These beautiful Marbled Godwits were certainly our “One Good Bird” for the day.