Dreaming of Oystercatchers

An American Oystercatcher on a sandy flatAn American Oystercatcher on a sandy flat – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

A friend and fellow photographer recently shared some images of Fort De Soto on Facebook which showed what the north beach looks like after Tropical Storm Colin went through and the images were more than a bit shocking to me because the beach has changed so much since last time I was there. Tropical Storm Colin did more damage to the beach than Hurricanes Ike and Gustav did in 2008 and they didn’t come ashore any where near Fort De Soto.

The bridge I used to walk over to get from the parking lot to the beach is now a bridge over sand, the creek is gone. The lagoon I used to like to photograph birds at near the concession stand mostly all sand. The dunes at the north tip are mostly gone. From Steve Leach’s images and other people’s images I have seen posted from after the storm, the north beach wouldn’t be recognizable to me today.

Any how, I think the images jarred me and made me think about Fort De Soto and the birds I loved photographing there because last night I spent some time dreaming of oystercatchers. I could hear them in my dream and see them scurrying along the waves. I have missed them enough for them to visit me in my sleep (again) so I thought I’d post an image of one of them today.

I photographed this preening American Oystercatcher on a sandy flat near one of the lagoons the end of February of 2009. As I recall there was a stiff sea  breeze blowing which ruffled up the oystercatcher’s feathers. Some people might think American Oystercatchers are a bit odd looking but I always enjoyed seeing them with their long orange-red bills, bright yellow eyes and their dark and white plumage.

There are worse things to dream about so I really don’t mind dreaming of birds at all.

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child June 23, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Storms make incredilbe changes don’t they?
    And yes, dreaming of birds would be a treat.

  2. Sallie June 23, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Love the first photo. It does look like a dream bird. Very beautiful.

  3. Linda Laugen June 23, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Over time, I have learned for sure that the sea will do what it will to beaches – if not rearrange them, simply eat them up! On LI, it is a constant struggle to keep anything the same – very disorienting but my bet is the birds don’t care as long as they can find foooood = ?? I will Google this Q, – – -> but do these birds simply swallow the prey, shell and all??? Oysters??? We humans can hardly get into them!! Hmmmm…

  4. Patty Chadwick June 23, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I love the colors of these birds…the contrast of the black, white and orange. I can understand your feelings about the changes to a once familiar beach. It’s amazing what one storm with high tides and powerful winds can do in such a short time. I wonder what the birds think about the changes…if they evven notice, are at all confused and disturbed by the changes…or if they just take it all in stride and as they search for food.

  5. Bob McPherson June 23, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Wonderful image, Mia. Don’t see them in Coastal areas of Alabama.

  6. Wendy Chapman June 23, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Lovely image. We have them here in England as well and I really enjoy watching them fly and wade along the shoreline.

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