Waughop Lake

Most places I go birding I know what to expect to see, but I seldom know what to expect when I head out to Waughop Lake in Steillacoom. That, and it’s proximity, of course, may be a large part of its appeal.

Anyway, Friday was too sunny to stay home, even if my garden beckons. Despite what my bird watching book says, I seldom see Gadwalls. So I was delighted to see two pairs at the far end of the lake.

Gadwall pair

I used to see a lot of Northern Shovelers at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, but I haven’t been there much since they closed the outer trail. So it was a pleasure to discover a pair at Waughop, particularly this beautiful drake.

Northern Shoveler male

Personally, I find it hard not to love a duck with a Jimmy Durante schnoz.

A Pied-Billed Grebe is about as different from a Northern Shoveler as I can imagine, but they both seem right at home on the lake.

Pied-Billed Grebe

Birding is a constant reminder of how diverse, and, yet, how specialized, birds are. Beauty takes many forms.

What do you think?