“I can’t get this crab out. Sorry for the butt shot lady, but I’m hungry.”
“Is she gonna follow me around all morning?”
“I’ll try to sneak past her.”
“Oh wait, another crab.”
“Still no luck. Maybe this lady will feed me some crackers.”
On a slow bird morning in early November at Fort Desoto, I saw this bird from across the beach. At first I thought it was one of the resident long-billed curlews. I walked across the beach and plopped down on the sand and watched him walking around looking for crabs. After a few minutes, as he got closer I thought “His bill doesn’t look that long.” and “I don’t remember the curlew having quite definite stripes on his head.” I realized I had finally found the elusive whimbrel. They are not a common bird here but I had read of sightings of them on and off. I’d been keeping my eye out for one for at least two years and finally I’m sitting here watching him walk around. He was a little more skittish than the curlews. They will walk up to you so close that you have to back up to fit them in the picture. I sat there watching for about 15 minutes, then tourists started to file out on the beach and the whimbrel moved quickly down the beach. I left and headed over to the woods to look for some rare palm warblers.