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.”

Joe’s Best Bird Photos:



About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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2 Responses to 400

  1. SusanKTucker@comcast.net says:

    You are sooooo funny! Liked your pic. S

  2. Judy Zeckhauser says:

    Joe, I just saw on the NBC news a piece about the Bald Eagles nest and the birds hatching outside of Pittsburg. Has not happened there in 200 years! A webcam set up as you probably know. J

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