Reposting, in honor of my first oystercatcher sighting (and hearing!) of 2013. Around here, these guys are much better harbingers of Spring than robins, which I've seen in Prospect Park in January, with the snow thick on the ground.
I painted this last year in April and had posted it here with the following caption:
Oystercatchers make me laugh. They go puttering around in little groups and they are constantly hollering at each other. They're really loud and insistent and it seems like whatever it is they are saying to each other, it's Really! Really! Really! Important! They're a summer resident in Jamaica Bay and I think one of the earlier to arrive. I feel like spring is really setting in when I start hearing that unmistakable, impossible to ignore "Wheet! Wheet! Wheeeeeeetweetweetweetweetweet!" mixed in with the wintertime brant's "hrnk, hrnk, hrnk".
Today's spotting was during a paddle out of the club, just off the beach we call "Horse Beach". We only saw one, but they are such sociable little birds, others can't be far behind! It was a colder, windier, winterier day than the forecast had been promising, but boy, when I saw that distinctive shape flash past in the air and heard the confirming "Wheet!", for a minute I could almost feel that warm Spring sunshine that's heading our way. Note to self: time to get some peat moss.
Oh - and why "Horse Beach"? Because: