6:30 a.m.: 62 degrees with an 8 mph wind from the West/Northwest. Forecast calls for morning clouds and afternoon sun. CIVIL TWILIGHT begins at 7:00 a.m., SUNRISE at 7:25 a.m., SUNSET at 6:02 p.m., CIVIL TWILIGHT ends 6:28 p.m. MOONRISE 11:12 a.m. (waxing crescent 42% illuminated), MOONSET at 12:46 a.m. (tomorrow).  TIDES: high 5:55 a.m., low 11:33 a.m., high 5:45 p.m.

7:10 a.m.: I’m wandering along the beach this damp and foggy morning. I can’t watch the sky, so I’m looking at the small birds scurrying along the wet sand close to the water. At first I thought they were all SANDERLINGS, but when I looked through my binoculars, I saw that at least one was a PLOVER, the kind with the white ring around its neck and one dark almost-a-ring (it’s broken in the middle of its chest) below it. I’m calling it a “one-ringed” PLOVER to distinguish it from the “two-ringed” Killdeer.

Now there’s a bigger, taller, longer legged, longer billed shorebird working toward me: white breast, longish straight dark bill, struts along but pauses evey once in a while and does a little hitch, seems to like to have its feet in the water. It’s wading along the wave line, with occasional trips up to the deposits left by high tide.

The GREAT BLUE HERON is over on this side of the Cedar Cove rocks this morning. It’s standing totally still almost up to its belly in water. It just made a loud croak and turned back toward the rocks. Some GULLS just flew by, but I’m not ready to deal with them and all their gradations of color and plumages yet. Two little SANDERLINGS scurried toward me. If I had my glasses off, I might have thought they were mice.

When I decided to look at my watch to see whether the sun might have risen yet — invisibly because of the fog — I discovered it was gone. Fortunately I hadn’t wandered very far down the beach from where it slipped off my wrist, and I found it when I turned around. I wonder if GULLS ever pick up shiny things like CROWS do? Anyhow, there it was lying on the sand at 7:20 a.m. Watched 2 SANDERLINGS and 2 of the “one-ringed” PLOVERS for a while and listened to the DOVES calling from a distance and the peepy cheeps of songbirds. I’m thinking the sun must have risen. The SANDERLINGS seem to scurry faster than the PLOVERS. The PLOVERS seem to scurry a bit, pause and think about things, and scurry some more. When they pause, they stand dead still and seem to be looking straight ahead. There’s a DEAD BIRD on the beach this morning — a CORMORANT, I think.

7:35 a.m.: Had a scare when the vision in my right eye suddenly went blurry. I took my glasses off and blinked a bit to clear my vision. My vision without my glasses seemed fine, so I looked at my glasses and discovered that the right lens was coated with salt!

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