Birding Port Townsend

We always follow our visit to Ft Flagler with lunch in Port Townsend and a stop at a couple of galleries, and that’s about as long as I can last shopping. With several hours left before we’d be ready to eat dinner, we decided to hit a couple of birding spots others had told us about. We didn’t see much but these two Red-Necked Grebes in winter plumage

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at our first stop, a bird I seldom see on the south end of Puget Sound.

We stopped at the Port Townsend Marine Center without seeing much and were heading back to the car when another observer pointed out a family of River Otters swimming right below us.

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We must have spent a half hour watching them frolic.

I’m assuming from its size that this otter, which kept returning to the deck and gnawing on something must have been a yearling.

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I happened to mention to the gentlemen who pointed out the otter that we’d come to see Harlequin Ducks but hadn’t had much luck at Ft. Flagler. When he told us that they were often seen a few yards from where we’d been shopping earlier in the day, I had to return and see if that was true.

As it turned out I mostly saw Brant

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where he’d said we could find Harlequins, but I finally spotted a small flock a little closer than I’d seen them at Flagler.

I liked this shot of three males being harassed by a young gull

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because it reminded me they are one of the smaller ducks we see regularly, something I tend to forget while looking through a 400mm lens.

What do you think?