Sunday, March 28, 2010

Whidbey Island, WA.

This weekend I tried to explore all of  Whidbey Island in one day.  I ended up missing some places (Crockett Lake, for example) but had a great time...

The sunrise from Langley was beautiful..
I was really hoping to see a gray whale but it never happened.

Instead there were some goldeneyes...
I believe these are Barrow's Goldeneyes..

Also lots of Bufflehead around...

A couple of Spotted Towhees hopped around in the bushes overlooking Saratoga Passage.

Next I drove up to Double Bluff Beach..

Almost a hundred Brants were swimming and walking around.
I had never seen them before so that was cool.

The next stop was South Whidbey State Park.  I took Jake for the the short hike through the forest to the beach.  There were tons of birds around, they just didn't want to be photographed.   A single grebe was swimming in Admiralty Inlet but he flew off.

Pretty view of the Olympic Mountains...

Next up were several spots around Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve.

A couple of Surf Scoters..

I turned around in a parking lot at the dead end of a road and this goose was NOT pleased..
Jake was not pleased either.

Lots of swallows were tearing around the marsh and occasionally landing on the telephone lines..

A Violet-green Swallow..

There were a few harriers flying around...

Across the street on the Saratoga Passage I watched a gull for a bit... He flew down to the water and picked up this orange thing..

I don't know what it is (maybe something for fishing?) but the gull was determined to take it.  He put it down and picked it up several times and finally took off with it..

As soon as he took off another gull came over chasing him..  It seemed playful but maybe it was just in my head.. I would love to think that gulls have toys and fly around playing keep-away.

Back on the other side of the street (the marshy side), a crow was eating something kind of gross..

Beyond the crow were lots of little shorebirds...
Some kind of sandpiper I assume.

At Fort Ebey State Park was this sign...
Pretty cute.  I think it said it was done by a kindergartener.

This bird would not be ignored:
Such a pretty bird!  I think it's a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's).

In Kennedy's Lagoon:
A Common Goldeneye.

A couple of yellowlegs among the pintails.

My last stop was Deception Pass.  It was packed with cars and kids and dogs and I didn't have the patience for much more than a brief walk with Jake.

It was pretty.

Definitely wish I had more time to spend on Whidbey.  I'll add it to the list of places I want to return to...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The coast & Ridgefield

Last weekend I took a trip to the coast...

I didn't take a ton of bird pictures but here's what I got...

Scoters?  Bad picture.

This gull was one of many keeping an eye on a fisherman on this dock near Florence.

I took the short hike up towards the Heceta Head Lighthouse.. There's one spot where you can walk out onto a ledge into the water and I could glimpse some pelicans and cormorants on one of the "islands."

That was about it for birds on the coast... Today I went up to Ridgefield for my weekly visit..

These Wood Ducks were tearing around the water like something was chasing them.  Or maybe they were chasing something.  Hmm.


This Killdeer was making a lot of noise.

A Hooded Merganser..
A good-looking hawk.

A Pied-billed Grebe.

And no trip would be complete without a nutria...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ridgefield NWR 03-04-10

It was beautiful sunny morning in Portland, but up in Ridgefield it was pretty foggy.. I managed my first pictures of a male Northern Harrier..

That was pretty cool.  Then I got a picture of this guy:

Wilson's Snipe.

 A foggy pair of Hooded Mergansers..

I think this was the only Bald Eagle I saw today..

Instead of eagles, the trees were filled with herons.. And the ground too, obviously.

I wish all birds enjoyed being photographed as much as these guys do...