After off and on hail for ten days, I walked the beach on a sunny Sunday morning. The waves were big, green and white. Out to sea, a tiny shrimper and crabber worked their trade.
I had the beach to myself.
A huge driftlog twisted in the dunes caught my attention. I approached it.
As I came closer, I saw a bird perched on the log, staring at the ocean. It had a strange blue and white color combination that was unfamiliar to me at the ocean. I moved in for a better look.
The bird turned its head toward me and something registered: this might be a peregrine falcon! I am no bird man when it comes to identification, but I had seen a peregrine years ago on the wildlife refuge where I served as caretaker. I knew it was a peregrine because I researched it.
That sighting, however, was a falcon in flight, not on a driftlog.
I was now less than 20 feet away.
The peregrine turned its head away, took a shit that splattered the log, lifted off, flew out toward the ocean, and then headed south down the beach.
When I saw the bird in flight, I confirmed its falcon status.