Fall Migration Begins at the Beach

I’m amazed how often I’m reminded of fishing while out birding. As I’ve mentioned earlier, my first experience with nature came when I was taken salmon fishing regularly as a child. That love for the Puget Sound was, over time, translated into a more general love of nature, and birding is just its latest manifestation.

I’ve made two trips to the ocean in the last two weeks, and though weather conditions were very similar the results were almost diametrically opposite from one another. On the first trip to Oyhut Wildlife Refuge Area in Ocean Shores I saw lots of small shorebirds, often referred to as “peeps.”

There were a lot of Western Sandpipers like these, still in breeding colors,

Western Sandpiper

And others like this,

probably a Western Sandpiper

that I first thought was a Baird’s Sandpiper, which is less common here. After checking several sources, though, I decided it was more likely a juvenile Western Sandpiper. It’s a good thing I’m more concerned with the beauty of the birds I shoot than with their identification. I often don’t have a clue what they are until I get home and put them up on the computer screen.

There were also smaller flocks of Least Sandpiper.

Least Sandpiper

The only other unusual birds (not gulls) I saw were these Caspian Terns.

Caspian Terns

It’s a good thing the birding was good in the morning because the latter part of the trip turned out to be a dud. I saw a few Pelicans at Westport, but there were hardly any birds at Bottle Beach and the few that were there didn't come very close to shore. Basically, I was “skunked” as we used to say when we were salmon fishing and didn’t catch any salmon.

4 thoughts on “Fall Migration Begins at the Beach

  1. I think of you Loren when I am reading my present book. It is by a young man who cycles through North and South America sampling the food. He spends quite a lot of time aorund Puget Sound and also watches the salmon fight their way back up-river in order to spawn. As usual super bird pictures.

    • I’d prefer the “sampling the food” part to the cycling part, unfortunately.

      I’ve seen remarkably few salmon migrations in person, but it’s definitely a sustaining image in our region.

  2. I find it somewhat difficult to comment now. I keep looking for natural entry points..maybe your subscribers just know, but casual visitors may not. Are you tacitly sending message that you dont want comments? I finally clicked on REPLIES and it took me here….Did I miss another option?
    Anyhow, I like those long rows of birds, reminiscent of Escher sketches. I thought there could be. market for some of t hose horizontal shots, Repeated for 10-12 feet they would make great borders for a Victorian living room, kids’ room, etc. I have a friend who makes a decent livng paunting full wall nature murals for owners of older homes on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

    • Unfortunately, you have to have more programming skills than I have to change some of the defaults, like the number of “Replies” at the bottom of each article and the “balloon” at the top of the page. Of course you can also enter from the right column where it says, “Thanks for Commenting.”

      Some day I might consider making cards or trying to sell prints, but I’m really not looking for ways to make money at the moment. Heck, I’ve gotten plenty of offers to sell advertising on my site and I’m not willing to do even that for now.

What do you think?