I find that shore birds on distant Pacific islands can be hard to approach. They are often far out on sand spits or rocky outcrops, and fly off as soon as one approaches. On Rose Atoll, the southern-most US national monument and part of American Samoa, most of the birds seem fairly relaxed when faced with the rare human intruder to their sanctuary. I suspect the shorebirds are different because they are migrants and often wary of humans. An exception are the wonderfully named bristle thighed curlews that breed in remote areas of Alaska and winter on remote Pacific islands. I have been lucky enough to see these birds in the Line Islands as well. They are flightless for a period during winter molt, so I presume that is why they are usually on secluded islands. As I sat near the high tide line a curlew came out of the bushes and posed for me. You can see the untidy feathers around the thighs – hence the name. Later photos show distant pacific golden plover and ruddy turnstones.