6:40 a.m.: 58 degrees with a wind 5 mph from the West/Northwest. Forecast calls for morning clouds and afternoon sun. CIVIL TWILIGHT begins at 6:59 a.m., SUNRISE at 7:24 a.m., SUNSET at 6:05 p.m., CIVIL TWILIGHT ends at 6:30 a.m. MOONRISE at 1:19 p.m., MOONSET at 3:54 a.m. (tomorrow), waxing gibbous 73% illuminated. TIDES: low 3:34 a.m., high 10:39 a.m., low 2:48 p.m., high 8:48 p.m.

7:05 a.m. at the Fishing Pier: the weather vanes with the spinners are pointing the opposite direction this morning, the spinners picking up winds coming from the direction of the sunset. 7:20 a.m. at the Town Beach: 1 WILLET, 3 SANDERLINGS, flock of noisy GULLS. While I was looking at the gulls, a FLOCK OF BLACK SKIMMERS landed among them, They’re fluttering and preening on the beach. They flew up briefly but landed again a bit farther down the beach. Again they’re fluttering and preening. They seem to be quite comfortable with the GULLS and don’t even move very much or fly up when another gull lands. The GULLS move around and fuss, but the SKIMMERS stay close together and seem focused on preening. They just flew up a second time and landed again. I wonder what makes them fly up? Nothing I can see or hear. 7:40 a.m.: SNOWY EGRET on the Cedar Cove rocks this morning where the GREAT BLUE HERON usually is. When it flew up I saw lots of feathers — mating plumage? 7:45 a.m. There’s a little bit of pink showing through one thin opening in the clouds. I guess that means the sun is up. These sunless mornings have helped me focus on SHOREBIRDS, which is good. I just noticed a new one: smaller than the WILLET, tanner, bill shorter and thicker, big black eyes, moves a few steps then stops and looks around, head erect, hint of a tan/white eyebrow, buffy speckles on the upper chest with a lighter patch in the middle. It’s moving around amidst the SANDERLINGS, GULLS, and the WILLET, but it doesn’t really seem to be with them. (BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER?)

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