Saturday, October 5, 2013

Avocet eruption

It's actually been a very good year for avocets along the shoreline despite the fact that I've never gone this late in the year without seeing one (in fact these are my latest ever).  Tim called me a couple days ago a couple hours after I'd left Tiscornia that a flock of winter-plumaged Avocets had landed on Silver. 

I walked down to the water's edge.  I scanned north.  I scanned south.  How hard is it to see a flock of 26 large shorebirds patterned like zebras?  I'm not sure why I scanned out over the water, I think it was more out of habit than that I expected to see them there, but see them there I did.
 I can't recall ever using the term "raft of avocets," but there's a first for everything.

A passing boat actually pulled a U-turn to take a closer look, apparently it's captain thought they were pretty unique too.  They flushed, launching basically like teal.  I'm not sure how much lift they needed from leg action, I think most of the flock more or less just jumped up into the air.

They'd barely accelerated into powered aerodynamic flight before coasting back to the shoreline.

The flock was fairly entertaining to watch as they would get washed in by the low-breaking "waves."  I'd have liked a lot more time to belly up to them but had to get to work.  Here's a few crops...

and one last closer crop that's still semi-decent
Avocets are easily one of the more skittish shorebirds, there's a good chance I wouldn't have gotten a lot closer no matter how low and slow I'd gone anyway.

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