I wimped out on the polar bear swim though conditions were perfect--cold but very sunny and zero wind--so Scott and I went for a long walk this afternoon to make up for it. We saw other, very serious, swimmers (not plungers) at Alki, getting their mile or more in, in the frigid water. We also saw a great many birds, including a common murre that some nice people allowed me to look at through their scope. I thought it was a new bird for me until Scott reminded me that we'd seen thousands of murres off Yaquina Head a few years back. It's always nice, however, to share the excitement of other bird-types, and the woman with the scope told me that there were some sanderlings down the way. I thanked her somewhat perfunctorily since I was pretty sure we'd seen a pair of sanderlings on Alki earlier but when we actually saw the birds to which she referred, well, I had to go back and thank her for the tip because we wouldn't have looked that way otherwise and would have missed this:
Who knew shorebirds could look so much like mushrooms? There were also a couple of killdeer hanging out nearby, with one of the few wakeful sanderlings on this part of the beach.
For a livelier view of a sanderling, see here (one of the pair that was hopping about on Alki Proper):
Pleased am I at so fine a start to the new year.