Inspired by my previous-day outing at Port Orchard and a forecast of a sunny day at the coast, I set out for Ocean Shores at 6:30 the next morning. It’s become traditional to start the day at the North Beach Jetty where I can usually spot a small colony of Black Turnstones. They were easier to find than usual because the high tide forced them into one small area almost on the beach.
They are obviously used to visitors because they walk around, preen,
and nap as if there was nobody else there.
I mean, I knew it looked lighter than your average Turnstone, but I attributed that to it being immature or to changing from winter plumage. It didn’t help that I had never heard of a Rock Sandpiper before.
In retrospect, I realize that serious birders and I see birds rather differently. When I am looking at a flock, I am trying to figure out what would make the best picture. When a serious birder is looking at a flock, he is noticing small differences, looking for an unusual specie.
I, on the other hand, may get distracted by the sight of a common Sanderling landing nearby because I like its reflection in the water.