This weekend I got to see and photograph my first Western Snowy Plover up close. I've been getting a glance of them while we cruise down the beach in the back seat of the ranger's truck, but this is the first chance I've had to see one while on foot, and it was totally unexpected. I was walking through an unrestricted area that is normally heavily used by people, but because it was 9:00 on a Sunday morning I was the only one there, when suddenly I saw movement a short distance in front of me and realized it was a Western Snowy Plover. These are tiny sparrow sized birds that blend in with the sand and debris on the beach, making them hard to spot until they move. I stood as still as possible and snapped 20 or so photos. It was gratifying to get to see the bird that is the reason we are here. We spend many hours each day talking to people on the beaches, trails and parking lots, about the importance of staying away from the nesting areas, but we rarely actually get to see the little guys we seek to protect.