It began gagging
which dropped on the sand. The willet contemplated this
and then began re-ingesting the bolus, bit by bit.
It ate pretty much the entire thing, in little pieces.
I got the feeling that this is something willets do, because I saw another bird do exactly the same thing on down the beach.
Hmm. I wondered if it was like rabbits, who eat the droppings they excrete soon after a meal, and essentially digest the meal twice. Yuck, but it works for rabbits.
So the next bird I saw doing this, I apologized to and interrupted. I ran over and picked up the bolus.