With rain again predicted for most of the week, I spent Monday at Theler Wetlands and Port Orchard. There were a lot of birds, but mostly the usual suspects, Great Blue Herons and ducks. Large flocks of Widgeons and Northern Pintails rose up from the wetlands and moved to new feeding areas.
About the only unusual birds I saw were a pair of male Common Mergansers resting in the heavy shade near the end of the trail.
I didn’t see much all the way back, either. When I heard a Pileated Woodpecker’s cry, I immediately thought of Ruth Sullivan’s saying when I started birding, “ All we need is one Good Bird.” Since I have often heard this particular woodpecker at Theler but very seldom see it, I didn’t really expect to see it.
I should have been more ready, because not long after I saw the bird right next to the trail. Of course, by the time I pointed my camera at it, it had moved further away.
Still, considering the lack of light, I was quite pleased with this shot, certainly one of the best I’ve gotten in years. I had my “one good bird” and was ready to head to Port Orchard.
Fortunately, though, I ran into John after missing him at the Salmon Center. We talked awhile and I thought I’d walk part way back with him before heading out. We hadn’t gone very far when he spotted a Northern Shrike at the top of a tree near the pond.
It’s even rarer than the Pileated Woodpecker around here; so I actually ended up with “two good birds” for the morning.