I photographed this American Avocet at sunrise on an unusually chilly December morning on Fort Myers Beach. While other shore birds outside the frame were busy foraging before the beach crowds would arrive for the day, this avocet put on a splendid show as it preened itself in a shallow tidal pool. Normally, avocets are more exciting to observe and photograph when they are sporting their breeding plumage, with the rusty red feathers on their heads and necks. In this instance, however, the absence of the non-breeding plumage is remedied by the subtle red tones in the background from the sea grape plants and mangroves separating the shoreline from the tidal pool. The pose, with the bird's eyes closed as it preens its wing, has a very serene and calm quality to it. I returned a week later, but did not observe another avocet in this lagoon until the following spring.