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Birds

Birding Port Townsend

The best part of birding has been that it has made me search out new places. For instance, last Sunday we headed out for Fort Lagler and Fort Worden, both near Port Townsend. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that they were rather large forts during WWII and contained major artillery emplacements. I was surprised to discover that there’s still a major Naval installation located nearby and spent considerable time speculating what the Navy could be doing on such a large island. However, Leslie wouldn’t let me drive up to the front gate and see if we could get in, especially since my hair is nearly pony-tail length again.

Most of the time, though, was spent watching ducks I’ve never seen before. In fact I spotted this flock of Buffleheads next to the road before we got to either park and insisted on stopping beside the narrow road as cars roared by. Unfortunately, they were wise enough to stay off shore and move further off shore whenever I pointed my camera their way. Sadly, it turns out that white heads are rather difficult to expose correctly:

At Fort Lagler, I discovered this Green-Winged Teal floating in a small lagoon formed by a WW II firing range:

My favorite picture of the day, though, is of this Harlequin duck, which breeds in river streams but spends the winter on coastal waters:

Delighted by the sightings but tired from walking and being buffeted by the strong winds of an incoming storm, we retreated to Port Townsend to visit art galleries and discover some delightful art by
Marvin Oliver and particularly by
Donna Caulton Unfortunately after my recent purchase of cameras and lenses, I was limited to purchasing note cards and eating out at one of Port Townsend’s fine restaurants.

On the way out of town, we took the advice of the excellent A Birder’s Guide to Washington and stopped at a small city park called Kah Tai Lagoon, and spotted this pair of, what we think are, Eurasian Wigeons:

I’m still amazed to discover birds I had no idea existed in places I’d never visited less than fifty miles away from my birthplace. Thank goodness I’ve seen less than half of the ducks that are supposed to be seen locally so I have reasons to continue to be amazed.

I used to take pride in how many places in the state I’d hiked and other people hadn’t even heard of, but it’s a little humbling to realize just how much of the state I really don’t know and haven’t experienced.