Relieved: “Yes, herons and egrets are related,” and he laughs at my alternative guess.
As their caravan rolls slowly south, I hope to catch them at the pullover just before Parking Lot Three. I don’t, but I do catch sight of a low-flying white bird I ordinarily would think just another seagull, close enough to see its right eye.
Longer and more sleek than a gull, its tail and beak both point sharply, as do its elegant black-tipped wings that fan straight out rather than angling back.
Gliding past, it points in all four directions.
Jack Garvey of Plum Island can be reached at email@example.com.