Around 6 last night I went to the beach. The tide was coming in, but part of the reef was exposed and I walked out on it. I saw these unusual birds, 9 of them, running around and pecking at mollusks and snails. I slowly moved to maybe 70′ away from them and just watched. After a while I inched closer and when I got to 50′, they took off, flying across the silver path on the ocean of the soon-to-be-setting sun.
Reminded me of my first powerful connection to the natural world. When I was about 12, I was out in a hayfield near the Russian River, and I noticed some very small mice scurrying around. I stood stock still, and it turned out I was on the edge of Mouse City. They were running all over the place, going about their lives, unaware of humanoid eyes upon them. It was thrilling. I must have watched them for 10 minutes, transported into the unfettered natural world.
Photo above from https://www.rosssea.info/nz-bird-life-waders.html