This little Dunlin was hanging out near the gravel boat launch at Shell Mound last week. Emma, Bear, and I had just beached the canoe after a good paddle, when the Dunlin caught my eye ... mainly due to his refusal to fly away after we slid in only a few feet away.
He was standing on one foot, which the shorebird clan seems to do alot, ... nothing weird there, but he had what could only be described as a "hangdog look" ... as if he just didn't feel very good.
Plus, as I mentioned, he didn't try to fly away when two humans and a giant labrador retriever pulled up next to him.
Something had to be amiss.
I oozed over a little closer.
He perked up when I approached him slowly, but did not fly or move away.
This Dunlin's symmetry was ... well, ... not.
A side view showed a left ankle that seemed swollen and red compared to the right.
That looks so painful, don't you just want to lance it, flush it with hydrogen peroxide, and pack it with Neosporin?
If it were my foot, that's what I would do.
After a few photos, I left the dunlin alone to deal with his sore foot. When the canoe was all strapped down tight, I turned to see if the tiny bird was still there. He was, but at that very moment he lifted off and flew out over the water towards a shell bar just barely exposed by a falling tide.
The bar was already crowded with other dunlins, terns, and willets as he swooped in for a landing.
At least he would have company,
... misery loves company.