When I think about global warming I ponder how long these slivers of island off the mainland will last. I stop and take a picture of the wide stretch of beach between the water and the rise of the dune. I am grateful that it is one of the widest beaches along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
A couple of pictures from the rise of the dune toward my house provide comfort when I calculate the distance.
Flocks of some of my favorite birds have the beach mostly to themselves. Gulls, mostly the great black-backed gull – terns, mostly royal terns – willets and sanderlings. A few brown pelicans flying by.
I don’t see any this evening, but I have watched small groups of gannets flying over the ocean close to land, but never (or rarely) over it.
A number of years ago we could count on seeing a few whimbrels, but I haven’t seen any for several years. The Sibley Bird Book says that whimbrels are a very rare visitor to the Atlantic coast. Their long downcurved bills are so distinctive which helped me know them. And I must have been just lucky to see them.
The Avon pier looks lonely in the distance.