Birding Port Townsend

The best part of birding has been that it has made me search out new places. For instance, last Sunday we headed out for Fort Lagler and Fort Worden, both near Port Townsend. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that they were rather large forts during WWII and contained major artillery emplacements. I was surprised to discover that there’s still a major Naval installation located nearby and spent considerable time speculating what the Navy could be doing on such a large island. However, Leslie wouldn’t let me drive up to the front gate and see if we could get in, especially since my hair is nearly pony-tail length again.

Most of the time, though, was spent watching ducks I’ve never seen before. In fact I spotted this flock of Buffleheads next to the road before we got to either park and insisted on stopping beside the narrow road as cars roared by. Unfortunately, they were wise enough to stay off shore and move further off shore whenever I pointed my camera their way. Sadly, it turns out that white heads are rather difficult to expose correctly:

At Fort Lagler, I discovered this Green-Winged Teal floating in a small lagoon formed by a WW II firing range:

My favorite picture of the day, though, is of this Harlequin duck, which breeds in river streams but spends the winter on coastal waters:

Delighted by the sightings but tired from walking and being buffeted by the strong winds of an incoming storm, we retreated to Port Townsend to visit art galleries and discover some delightful art by Marvin Oliver and particularly by Donna Caulton Unfortunately after my recent purchase of cameras and lenses, I was limited to purchasing note cards and eating out at one of Port Townsend's fine restaurants.

On the way out of town, we took the advice of the excellent A Birder’s Guide to Washington and stopped at a small city park called Kah Tai Lagoon, and spotted this pair of, what we think are, Eurasian Wigeons:

I'm still amazed to discover birds I had no idea existed in places I’d never visited less than fifty miles away from my birthplace. Thank goodness I’ve seen less than half of the ducks that are supposed to be seen locally so I have reasons to continue to be amazed.

I used to take pride in how many places in the state I'd hiked and other people hadn't even heard of, but it's a little humbling to realize just how much of the state I really don't know and haven't experienced.

3 thoughts on “Birding Port Townsend

  1. Nice ducks. Your point is well-taken, I’m sure a little more travel would turn up more birds around here than I’m used to seeing. Of course, lately, I don’t see much in any case. If I ever get back to normal vision, I need to go a place or two not on my usual path. It’s fun to hitch a ride with you, though, in the meanwhile.

  2. Not all of us can get out, but I’m sure there’s an awful lot of people who don’t realize what’s out there and miss the joy of new outdoor experiences.

    You don’t have to hike to the top of a mountain to find a part of nature that you can enjoy.

  3. Loren: While thinking of ways to improve my online presence as an artist,I was doing a search today on myself. I ran across your birding article with my artwork mentioned. I had never seen this before and just wanted to say a great big “thank you”. I am no longer in Port Townsend, but have relocated to the mountains of northern New Mexico and am very happy here. The artwork has changed somewhat. Check out my website if you are interested: donnacaulton.com. Happy Birding and best wishes. Donna

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