I was a Senior in High School when I went on my first nature walk. It was led by this immigrant Russian naturalist who was fantastic. During the walk he was pointing out birds left and right. I was hooked. It was such an eye-opening experience for me.


Frank and I met on Buche beach at low tide, both scanning the salt flats for any flamingo-shaped objects. We exchanged numbers in case the other saw the bird, unaware that our next two days would center around the same two birds. (American Flamingo and Western Spindalis)

I am pleased to have seen and photographed both rarities with Frank by my side; making a new friend may be more rewarding than adding a bird to your list.