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Early one morning in July 2022, I was searching for the famous kangaroos of Lucky Bay, in Western Australia’s Cape Le Grand National Park, when I noticed a pied oystercatcher a little farther up the beach. The small black-and-white bird was foraging in the sand, ready to snatch a meal with its long red beak. Pied oystercatchers are found throughout the Australian coast and are often spotted hammering at mollusks and crustaceans to feed themselves or their young.
I was visiting in winter, and the pre-sunrise air was chilly. A layer of mist rolled along the beach, giving the appearance of a snowy winter wonderland—a scene you wouldn’t associate with these threatened coastal birds. I moved up the beach and quietly got down on the sand, waiting for the bird to wander past me. Finally, I captured this surreal shot of the oystercatcher ducking through the mist.