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Birds

If at First You Don’t Succeed

Although Monday began with a dense fog, by early afternoon the fog had burned away and turned remarkably sunny. I had plans for the day, but after checking the forecast for the rest of the week and discovering that it was supposed to rain through Saturday, I decided to go out birding, even though it was too late to go to Nisqually or Belfair.

Instead, I headed for Steilacoom and the lake. Though the walk was quite delightful, the only birds I saw that I haven’t shown recently were some Canvasback ducks that were so far out in the middle of the lake that I didn’t even recognize what they were until I got home.

Even though I figured there were a few shots I could use here if I couldn’t get anything better, I decided to stop at the Tacoma Audubon society and check out the birds there. Though there wasn’t anything wildly unusual, at least nothing I could identify from blurry shots taken between branches, there were enough birds to hold my interest for a few hours.

Though quite common, I did like this shot of a House Finch. With a touch of snow this might have made a perfect Christmas Card:

House Finch

Still not entirely happy with the shots, I ended up stopping at Titlow even closer to home. It’s clear that more of our winter residents have returned from the north. There were several male Hooded Mergansers, which are certainly one of my favorite photographic subjects.

male Hooded Merganser

And there was even a few male Buffleheads, whose iridescent, blackish head and bright white feathers make it difficult to get a really good picture, not to mention their small size and their general shyness.

male Bufflehead