Sun Breaks

I think I may have suggested recently that readers should be expecting some comments on poetry I have been reading, but once again sunshine as waylaid my best intentions.

I’m sure, though, that Chuang Tau would not have approved of being stuck inside staring at a computer screen while the sun called from outside.

And personally, I would consider it heresy to resist the call of spring daffodils in full sunlight.

daffodils

So, when are current spell of sunshine began I spent the afternoon at Waughop Lake in Steilacoom. I never know what to expect when I go there, but this time the lake was full of Northern Shovelers.

pair of Northern Shovelers

In fact, the only “unusual” bird I saw was this Ruddy Duck, which must be beginning to migrate considering I’ve seen them a couple times lately.

Ruddy Duck

It’s a good thing I’m fond of my photographs, or I would suspect that I’m beginning to use them as an excuse not to do the hard thinking I feel obliged to do before I comment on important books that I really like. I have two long books I’ve finished reading but still haven’t managed to wrap my mind around yet.

My Bluebird of Happiness

It was too sunny here Wednesday and Thursday to stay inside reading, so I put my Kindle and new book of poetry aside and headed out to the new boardwalk at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed walking the mile long boardwalk, but birdwise it was rather disappointing. About the only bird I saw that I haven’t seen for awhile was this Yellowlegs.

Yellowlegs

I’m pretty sure there were more people on the boardwalk then there was on the wetlands that it crosses. Luckily, the birding will get better with time and less people will show up to see them.

Undiscouraged, I set out for Waughop Lake in Steillacoom on Thursday. I photographed a lot of birds, but I probably spent the most time trying to get a shot of one of these Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, a small, skittish, hyperactive 4 inch sized bird.

I was delighted with this shot.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

I didn’t have to spend nearly as long getting a shot of this American Coot, who darned near nipped me in the foot as I stood photographing it. This bird would seem to epitomize the phrase, “Odd Duck,” except that it isn’t a duck at all, though many people continue to think so.

American Coot

All you have to do is look a the strange feet to see it’s not a duck. Judging from those feet, though, I would probably surmise it was a long-extinct dinosaur.

The highlight of the day, though, was when this Belted Kingfisher flew down to greet me just as I walked into Titlow.

Belted Kingfisher

It’s may not be a Bluebird, but it was certainly my blue bird of happiness yesterday.

Why I Retired

The best part of being retired, at least in the Pacific Northwest, is that you can take advantage of what little sunshine there might be during the week. While others were working inside during the three hours of sunshine this week, I went birding.

Although I didn’t see anything spectacular, I did manage to get a shot of one of the many Towhees recently returned to our area,

Towhee

saw a male Wood Duck in full breeding colors,

male Wood Duck

a sight that never fails to delight me,

and I got to admire once again the feather pattern on this Double-Crested Cormorant.

Double-Crested Cormorant

Don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be out birding than sitting at home hanging up on robotic political calls.

Birds and More Birds

If you’re into over-the-top parents

Canada Geese with Goslings

or cute kids,

cold duckling

this might be the right time to get out birding.

Goslings and ducklings are everywhere, though ducks seem to be outnumbered by songbirds who are at the height of their northern migration. The woods surrounding Lake Waughop were alive with small birds eager to be heard like this Song Sparrow,

Song Sparrow

birds willing to be heard but not seen like this Wilson’s Warbler,

Wilson's Warbler

and, thankfully, even birds willing to pose for the camera like this Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

I think I love Spring even more since I took up birding.