Birding Tokeland

I felt a little guilty about not going our fishing with Logan, but not guilty enough to overcome the sense that it would be stupid to pay $250 to spend the afternoon throwing up like the last time I went salmon fishing on the ocean.  So, after a quick breakfast, Leslie and I set out to entertain ourselves for 6-8 hours while Logan enjoyed himself.  

We drove down to Tokeland to see if the Godwits or the pelicans were there. They weren’t there when we arrived.  In fact, other than an awful lot of gulls, there only seemed to be a pair of Pigeon Guillemots who didn’t immediately take off when I focused on them.

After spending 10 or 15 minutes taking photos of them, I decided that I would head back to Westport to check out the pelicans again.  

Just as a I approached the car where Leslie was reading her iPad, a large shorebird that I didn’t recognize zipped by me. Irritated by the fact that I had somehow failed to spot it on the shore, I walked up the road from the dock scanning the shoreline.  

I was quite surprised to spot a lone Willet foraging.

I was even more surprised to see it pick up a very muddy crab, walk over to the water and 

drop it in the water, leave it for a moment, and carefully pick it  back up and quickly

down it.  I’ve been looking at shorebirds for quite awhile now, but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen one eat a crab, much less rinse its food off.

I got another surprise when I walked back to the car to tell Leslie it was worth getting out of the car.  A Pigeon Guillemot was sitting on the railing looking down.  Trying to figure out what it was looking out, I noticed this Pigeon Guillemot frantically flapping its wings.  

Although I never saw a nest, I’m pretty sure that the pair were nesting under the newly built dock, which made me wonder if the county had build nest boxes there like they had in Fort Worden.

We Took Logan to Westport

I expected that all of Logan’s local fishing outings would be merely a prelude to his Westport fishing trip.  Unexpectedly, it turned out that all of my local bird sightings were nothing compared to the two days we spent at Westport.

All I really hoped, and expected, to see on this visit was the Brown Pelicans. Strangely, there wasn’t a one in sight when we started walking out on the Westport Marina, making me wonder if they still hadn’t arrived.  

On our walk back to the parking lot, though, a few stragglers flew over and I managed to get some nice shots of them in bright sunlight.  I liked the lighting in this shot best, 

preferred the wing angle in this shot  but was disappointed in the dull colors, 

and loved this shot showing how long those wings really are (but hated the excessive shadows.)

As expected, overall there were very few birds in the harbor.   The only other bird I saw the first afternoon was this Pigeon Guillemot carrying a small fish in its beak. 

Luckily, the weather was so nice that it was simply impossible to complain about the lack of birds.  With sunshine and temperatures in the mid-70’s, it doesn’t get much better than that at Westport. 

The Little Things in Life

When Paul took us to Waughop Lake last week, we saw a lot of people fishing which made me think that it might be another good place for Logan to fish.  Logan looked  it up online and decided he would like to fish there.  So, on Friday we took him there and walked while he fished.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly as clear as on our previous visit, and we didn’t even catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier in the distance.  Still, when you spend three hours in a place you often see things that you wouldn’t see on a quick walk through.

One of my favorite sightings of the day was this juvenile Downy Woodpecker, 

a bird I often catch a glimpse of but seldom get a decent shot of.  Perhaps because it grew up in such a busy place, this one seemed nearly indifferent to our presence.

As  usual in the summer, we heard a lot more birds than we saw but one particular tree seemed to attract more birds than usual.  Most unusual of all, they were clearly visible from the trail I stood on. Spotted Towhees are usually sighted scrambling through the thick underbrush, but this one sat on a tree limb glowering at me.

The Black-Capped Chickadee seemed equally indifferent.

This Orange-Crowned Warbler was shyer, but I’m happy with the shot because I seldom manage a photo even on the rare occasion that I spot one.

Although I was disappointed not to see the Osprey that frequent the lake, both Logan and I considered the day a success.

Naturally We Took Logan to Port Townsend

When I posted yesterday’s post I would have sworn that I had taken Logan down to Ruston the morning after his arrival.  I would have been wrong, which I didn’t realize until I started cleaning up after his departure.  While doing so, I discovered that the SX60H  had pictures taken of our trip to Port Townsend.  The pictures reminded me that I had wanted to have a family outing before he got hooked on fishing.  

Unfortunately, trying to get all the local Williams together seems harder than connecting with the Colorado Websters.  Only Lael was able to join us on our outing, and we had to get back by six so that she could make her swim lessons.  Despite that, everyone seemed to enjoy our trip, beginning with a walk along the beach at Ft Flagler.

I never go to Port Townsend without my birding camera and lens, but I didn’t take them on this trip because I wanted to keep up with the kids (and I didn’t think I’d see any birds).   Much to my surprise, we were greeted by several birds including this Black Oystercatcher.

A Black Oystercatcher is a relatively uncommon bird, but this is the second time  I have encountered one when I was only carrying my SX60H.  I’m wondering if not being prepared is a necessary part of sighting this particular bird.

After lunch and a walk through some of the Port Townsend shops we made a trip to Fort Worden where the kids toured the Marine Science Center. I spent the time looking off the pier and finally sighted the pigeon guillemots that I’ve been reading about since I began visiting the Science Center.

Heck, I even spotted a pair of Purple Martins atop a nesting box, 

something I’d never seen on previous visits.  

Hard to believe I would have forgotten this trip so quickly if I hadn’t taken photos, but I often find myself consulting my blog if I want to find when something has taken place. I sometimes fear that the internet is taking the place of my memory, not to mention my life.