How deluxe it was to have so many. I threw on some clothes, hoisted the big lens and hurried out to act like the last thing in the world I cared about was several hundred black skimmers resting on the deserted beach.
I walked straight toward the water, watching them out of the corner of my eye, looking off to the side, out to sea.
I got closer and closer. The near birds: still sleeping. Good.
I mustn't get any closer. I couldn't believe my luck. Such beautiful, beautiful birds.
They found a four-winged dinosaur fossil in China. Here's the modern-day version.
I don't know what corollary of Murphy's Law followed me around the beach at Tybee, but every time I had a photo op with cooperative birds, somebody came along and put them all up for me.
Even on a deserted winter beach, it seems somebody's always willing to walk plumb into the middle of a peacefully resting flock. No polite detours for us, nossir. Right smack through the middle.
Dum de dum de dum...buncha birds...whatever...never mind the woman lying on her side with a camera pointed at them, quietly cursing my complete lack of situational awareness.
Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack said the skimmers
and went up in a slice of black wings
delighting a little girl and
Their shadows raced across the sand and I almost keeled over from delight at the perfection of the scene.
I turned to the group, smiled, and explained myself in only five words.