On Saturday, my Lovely and Charming Wife and I went to Long Beach (not this one) for a walk. We left the Mutts behind so we wouldn't have to worry about them terrorizing the dogs who walk there (that'd be Gus) or chewing the local fauna (that'd be JoJo). We wandered out to the end to see how Mutthenge had fared over the Winter.
On the way back, we noticed three tiny birds running along the edge of the surf (not much surf at Long Beach; maybe a couple inches). They weren't acting like sanderlings, which are mostly gone by this time of year anyway.
They were Piping Plovers, the earliest I've ever seen. Last year they were here around April 1; the year before, around April 15. Never before in March. At this rate, they'll be year-rounders pretty soon, cluttering up the parking lots at the Mall and demanding that Four Seas stay open through the winter.