Sunday, January 16, 2011
And oh, the skimmers....
They're back! The black skimmers.
I first spotted them four years ago in winter gathered on the sand beside a large flock of gulls. All pointing toward the water of our south-facing shore, they stood perfectly aligned, like soldiers in military formation.
The orange ring around their black beaks, and their bright orange legs and feet were striking, and what popped into my mind was, "Puffins!" Stunning as they were and parrot-like too, they lacked the exaggerated faces of puffins.
They barked a small sound, something between a peep and a squawk. And when a galloping beagle came charging up the coast, they all lifted off at once. And my eyes must have doubled in size, when their long, razor-like wings whooshed into the air to form criss-crossing patterns of vees.
I think I could spend entire days watching skimmers fly. The graceful angles of their black and white bodies (black backs/white undersides) flipping from positive to negative as they arc, veer, twist and dive.