Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Odd Duck?

Is this an odd duck, or am I simply inadequately acquainted with ducks? I've seen this guy, a loner, wandering on the beach the last couple of days. He is very dark and from a distance I thought he was a cormorant but his neck is too short for one thing. On shore he waddles like an old man with a rheumatic hip -- which I supposed could be an accurate diagnosis. He also seems lost. He is not bothered by me when I stalk him with a camera but he also is not very cooperative. I was happy when he went into the water and plunged his head down, came up chewing and swallowing something. At least he can forage successfully. He repeated this several times so I think he had a good breakfast today.

I have also been watching the sanderlings and am delighted to noticed that the tiny ones, which could fit in my hand easily are just as proficient at racing the tide at it's very line on the sand, where they rapidly plunge their long beaks into the sand, apparently getting small bites of something, as their larger cousins who probably hatched a week or two earlier and all are as proficient as the full grown ones -- they fly easily up and away when a human shadow falls nearby and all churn their little legs so fast they become a blur as they dash ahead of the incoming water. This is a performance I stop to watch often.

My bird watching has also included the inevitable gulls. I've lately been sad about a one legged fellow. [Of course I'm using the masculine gender throughout this post as I learned to do in the days before "politically correct" shifts from he to she. I DO know we females uphold half, at least, of the species]. Birds and animals seem not to know self-pity, they just go about living as best they can when a leg is destroyed and, probably happily, they are not aware as we would be, that this makes them more vulnerable to other disasters.

1 comment:


June -- Such fine observations of bird behavior. Your beach walk posts always result in worthy observations that I enjoy reading. -- barbara