Scenes from the Beach | December 11, 2016

Although there are important exceptions, the voices of shorebirds are harsh and strident. Consider the laughing gulls’ nasal, 2-syllable “laughs,” sounds that have no mirth. Black skimmers bark, very much like small dogs. Great blue herons emit hoarse croaks. Almost entirely silent are the calls of snowy egrets, low and raspy “Peep” is a repeated call of small shorebirds. Yet we find the plover’s whistle to be a wistful, melancholy call. There’s an almost human sound in its quality.

Diary, fall 2016

From the diary of beach walker George Thatcher,

email: fishcrow@aol.com. Collections of Mr. Thatcher’s observations are available from Quail Ridge Press, www.quailridge.com or 800-343-1583.