This week’s photo, taken from the pier in Edmonds, WA, features a small fraction of a large flock of DUNLIN, a common wintering shorebird in the Puget Sound area.
More than 1000 DUNLIN are hanging out along the Edmonds shoreline this winter, and their synchronized flight demonstrations are exciting to watch. Sometimes, while I’m standing on the pier, I will see a huge flock speeding towards me. As the Dunlin zoom past the pier in an amazingly tight group, almost touching the water surface and each other as they sprint by, I think back a few decades, to a summer day when I was a spectator at a cycling competition in the state of Georgia. As I stood on a sidewalk, about 50 cyclists raced by just a few feet away. The athletes on 2 wheels created their own wind, and we bystanders could feel and hear that rush of air as they passed.
When several hundred Dunlin fly by, although I don’t feel the sensation of wind that I did with the cyclists, I do hear the whoosh of air produced by those tiny birds, and that sound is an incredible thrill.
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