branta (sheldrake) bernicla (to burn, for its charred dark color)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 — 11:00 am
Cannon Beach, Oregon — Pacific Ocean
This Brant was totally serendipitous. For about six weeks before I headed to Portland, I studied my field guides so I would be prepared to identify all the birds I had a reasonable chance of seeing. But for some reason, the Brant totally slipped my attention. I was aware that they existed, and even knew, had I been asked, that they could be found on the West Coast. But for some reason, it never occurred to me that I’d see one on this trip.
We left Haystack Rock when the swarms of school children arrived. We walked back down the shore and were nearing the lot where we’d parked our car. I saw a lone goose fly in and land on the beach. When I looked at it through my binoculars, I knew immediately what it was, but I was surprised to see it.
The goose walked about while I walked toward it, taking pictures every 10 feet for so. The shot above is my first photo, the one below is my last. It paid me no mind, and I probably could have gotten closer, but my feet were getting wet.