There were a lot of them. Gathered in a group, moving with purpose. Where did they come from and where are they going?
Seagulls are usual. They congregate, squawking and arguing over who gets the bag of cheetos stolen from the blanket. Shorebirds with their long thin beaks poke the wet sand in search of snacks. Whimbrels and godwits are shy, scattering as I creep near. I’m always on the lookout for egrets, tall and elegant with bright yellow feet. Sometimes they feed in pairs or triads, but mostly seem to lead a solitary life.
When the little girl approached the group, I expected them to take flight. Rise into the sky in unison. But they didn’t. As I got closer, I saw they were traveling together, one after the other like school kids heading from the classroom to somewhere. They were unperturbed when I came close with my camera from behind. And not concerned when I ran ahead and took my photos from the front of the line, in fact, the lead duck nearly walked right into me!
I’m still wondering about that sord of mallards (if they had taken flight they would have been called a flock). In all my walks on the beach over the years, this is my first sighting of mallards on a pilgrimage. Where did they come from? Where were they going?