This week’s photo, taken March 23, 2014 at Semiahmoo Spit, near Blaine, WA, features a BLACK OYSTERCATCHER performing a one-legged balancing act along the shore of Drayton Harbor.
On Sunday, I carpool north, almost to the Canadian border, for a day of observing mostly water birds. All day long, we are blessed with sunny skies, and we are also blessed with COMMON LOONS, RED-NECKED GREBES and HORNED GREBES, all in breeding plumage. Other species of interest include LONG-TAILED DUCK, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and a rare-for-the-area MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD. I also check off two new state birds: DUNLIN and BLACK OYSTERCATCHER.
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a small group (2-4 people), usually everyone discusses one topic at a time? Yet, in larger groups, people often split into subgroups, with each mini-group engaged in its own topic of conversation. Sometimes, those multiple conversations can lead to amusing misunderstandings.
Today, we are a group of 10 birders. At one point, we are standing on a pier and using our scopes to scan the bay for birds. Soon, a debate develops about the number of loons floating on the water off in the distance. Then someone tosses out a question for anyone who cares to respond, “How many loons do you think are out there?” At the exact moment that question is uttered, a bird photographer who is oblivious to the loon discussion, looks at my long camera lens and says, “What size lens is that?” I have a 400mm lens, but for brevity’s sake, I simply respond, “400,” to which someone in the loon group replies, “Oh, I don’t think there are that many out there.” Then another voice states an opposing opinion, “Hmm, he may be right. Yeah, I also say there are about 400 loons.”
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