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I was standing at the water’s edge watching the sun’s first rays color the sand when I heard a screaming flock of gulls further down the beach. I watched as they swirled and swooped low to the sand.
Curious, I ambled down the beach in their direction. Always fascinated by what gifts the tide brings in the night; I was looking down as I walked. I stopped short when I saw the first tiny fish, its silvered scales catching the light.
I followed the glistening line of fish; the beach was littered with them. The gulls were eating what must have been a large school of fish the was caught in the tide and washed ashore. I have no idea what they were. The largest was about 2 inches and the smallest about an inch. Most of them were pale to translucent. A few were sandy colored. The loose flock of gulls was having a field day.
I love being outdoors and watching bird behavior, you just never know what you are going to see.
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Hmmmm, What’s this? Looks Snacky.
You’ll ‘cuse me if I don’t talk with my mouf full. (editorial note — cute willet tongue — can you see it?)
I will not puke this back up. Gulp * swallow* gulp* Work it, work it. I’m dyin’ here.
Whew. I think I strained something.
Hmmm, still peckish. Wonder what else I can find to eat.
I am off to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to spend a few days with my cousin. She and her husband are not birdwatchers, but appreciate that I am, so I will be able make myself scarce a few hours of the day to see what is around. I hope there is some interesting stuff coming through. But, I suppose it is too early for Painted Bunting. Bummer, that would be a life bird.
When I think of Ibis, I think of heat, marshes, phragmites, salt on my lips and in the air. And most definitely the south. While on a business trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the dead of summer, I decided to go for a swim at 6am. The heat had not yet set in and it was wonderful out. As I trudged across the sand, stepping around people sleeping on the beach; I stopped in my tracks astounded when I saw several White Ibis digging through the garbage cans. I had never seen anything like it. Here I thought Ibis delicately probed in the muck for insects, fish or crustaceans. But let me tell you these Ibis were fighting it out with the gulls for the tastiest morsels. The shadow in the picture is the garbage can. I wish I had zoomed out so you could see it. Huh, who knew? Ibis prefer stalking the garbage bins for food instead of working the mud. Or at least these did.