Park visitor and long-time birder David Yeamans spotted a pair of these birds on the rocks along the west side of the park. They are Wandering Tattlers. “Wandering” because they have an enormous range. From their summer breeding spots in the mountains of Alaska, Russia, and northwestern Canada they spread in autumn along the Pacific Coasts to every island big and small down to Australia and New Zealand. The wet edge of the coast, preferably on rocks, forms their habitat, where they feed on the available marine proteins, undaunted by crashing breakers. They’re called “tattlers” because when they forage with a group of other bird species, they’re the first to flush and issue an alarm cry. However, these birds in the park didn’t seem in the least disturbed by David and his friend, nor by other photographers who came the next day. They kept on foraging, dipping their tails as they do, and even seemed to pause for a few moments to that David could get these nice crisp portraits.
On Monday I visited the scene and also saw one Tattler, plus two others, along the west shore. I had waited too long in the day for the best light, but I wanted to add a few seconds of video regardless to show the bird’s preferred habitat. I wonder what its dreams look like. So much motion, so much crashing and gurgling of waves against rocks, what turmoil, what poetry!