Back to Ft Flagler

Despite having a million things I want to get done before Christmas, I couldn’t resist the pull of last week’s sunshine and had to go to Port Townsend and Ft. Flagler last Sunday. Although the day started out overcast, it turned out to be one of those rare relatively sunny winter days. We began the day with a savory breakfast at Sweet Laurette Cafe & Bistro. Shopped in town for an hour or so, where Leslie bought my upcoming birthday present, though I don’t get to open it until December 30th.

We went to Ft Flagler because it’s the most reliable place to see Harlequin ducks during the winter, but we were actually greeted by another bird that I’ve come to identify with Flagler. In fact, we found this Black Oystercatcher in exactly the same spot where I got my first shot last year.

Black Oystercatcher

It’s impossible to miss that brilliant orange beak and eye-ring.

We did see the Harlequin ducks that I came for, but they were out further than I’ve ever seen them before, perhaps because the tide was out or perhaps just because they were enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

 Harlequin ducks

Somehow I’d always thought that the brilliant brick-red color was the color of their body, but this shot of them flying clearly revealed that the red color is only on the top part of their body.

Harlequins in Flight

There weren’t a lot of birds at the park, but the ones we saw like this Sanderling and Plover were striking in the brilliant sunshine,

Plover and Sanderling

as was this elegant Yellowlegs,

Yellowlegs

a bird I used to see so often that I began to take it for granted. Now that I seldom see them, I appreciate their beauty more than I used to — no surprise there, I guess.

After all, it’s winter’s extended gray clouds that make days like this with the brilliant blue skies reflected in the water so special.

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