Two people were here, who informed me that A. the Arctic was not here and B. two White-fronted where. So I ended up stalking the large Crested Tern flock, in the midst of very heavy hail and wind (no understatement) with frustation at salt water blowing into my lens and not finding the bird. Soon, the two people returned, just as the Arctic passed by. They seemed convinced that I had flushed both the Arctic and White-fronted, and left with unappreciative looks; thus is the life of a photographer.
Returning back, I noticed a few more birders had shown up. I believe I was the only person who wanted to see the White-fronted and not the Arctic! There was a lot of talk about people finding an Arctic only having it turn out to be a Common, and there were some people who had visited every day and not yet seen it.
A person by the name of Nick came by as I found a few stranded birds; shearwaters. Seeing the weather offshore it all tied up, and I further wondered if the birds before actually were shearwaters. Nick spent a while trying to work out whether the stranded birds were Short-tailed or Sooty, eventually coming to a decision on Short-tailed for them all. I turned around and I saw a dark bird flying offshore, chased by a Pacific Gull, and this bird left no doubt. After the Pacific left, it landed in the surf, only to be washed closer by the stormy waves.This bird, clearly quite exhausted from one event or another, came to rest in the waves and ended up washing up on the beach! It used its wings and beak to "walk" its way up the beach and it was a very unique encounter, once in a lifetime. Too bad none of the other birders actually cared.
|And a young crested tern with some neat plumage going on.|
It was time to go and I saw the shearwater being pecked to death by the Pacific Gulls. Thus seems to be the demise of all washed up and exhausted birds on such stormy days.