Birding Pt. Wilson

The highlight of Wednesday’s trip had to be the time I spent at Pt. Wilson, a part of Fort Worden. First, there were some really knowledgeable and helpful birders there. Without their help I would never have spotted the birds I did, much less know what I was looking at.

I usually tell people I’m a photographer, not a birder, but for at least one afternoon I was more birder than photographer, even though I spent hours looking through my telephoto lens. Truthfully, I knew the birds were too far out to get good pictures, though the blown-up photos helped me to see them much more clearly than I actually saw them while I was there.

I probably spent the most time trying to get a picture of this Rhinoceros Auklet on the mistaken assumption that I’d never seen one or gotten a picture before:

Rhinoceros Auklet in non-breeding colors

Well, this is probably the clearest picture I’ve gotten, but I actually got a shot of a lone Auklet at Wesport last year, one in breeding colors. Still, it felt good to get this shot.

There were two other birds I’ve never seen, like these Marbled Murrelet’s in non-breeding plumage, whole rafts of them, though few came this close:

Marbled Murrelet in non-breeding colors

There was also a considerable number of Common Murres in non-breeding colors, another bird I’ve never seen before.

Common Murre

Talking to George Gerdts and Bob Whitney for three hours and having them point out various species was a delightful way to spend a sunny January afternoon. I’m always amazed how friendly birders are, always willing to share their insights with those of us who lack their expertise.

What do you think?