Old Acquaintances

I’m thankful that after the morning fog burned off that it was a beautiful, sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest and that I was able to head out for The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.

Much of the morning I played tag with the sun. I suspect the diffuse, gray skies actually made it easier to get a good picture of this male Bufflehead because I didn’t blow out the whites like I usually manage to do.

Bufflehead Duck

At the end of the first leg of my walk I was greeted by the largest flock of Cedar Waxwings I’ve ever seen.

Cedar Waxwings

The highlight of the day came at the other end of the walk when I got another chance to see the pair of River Otters that live somewhere nearby. I think they were impatient for us to move on because one of them would swim out from behind the reeds every so often to take a look at us but would then swim back into the reeds after spotting us. Of course, we kept waiting for them to come out so we could get a better shot. Guess who won that battle of wills?

River Otter

Luckily we were following a dedicated group of bird watchers with scopes, or we would have never seen this owl. In fact, even with some help I had trouble seeing it, probably because it didn’t want to be seen.


6 thoughts on “Old Acquaintances”

  1. Great shots. I’ve seen a group of Cedar Waxwings like that once – a whole flock landed in my in-laws’ tree in their back yard.

  2. Loved seeing these photos early in the morning on Thanksgiving. A good reminder of how much there is to be thankful for.

    Also, upon seeing your fine photo of the Cedar Waxwings, it occurred to me that my mother, who died unexpectedly during this time of year in 1994 at age 78, used to talk about how much she loved seeing Cedar Waxwings in the early 1970s on the San Francisco Peninsula. That was long before I ever saw one. I imagine that she would have loved your blog. My mother was a lifelong reader who wrote poetry until 1966, at which point she began to paint. For the rest of her life, her creativity was expressed in the visual arts. She was particularly fond of wild birds, although I don’t recall that she ever painted images of birds.

    She mailed me a letter a few days before she died. In that letter was an article about a commercial building under construction, a building which was blocking a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean from the highway near where she and my father lived. Along with that article was one about Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as an article about a Golden Eagle who was about to be returned to the wild from an eagle rescue center in California.

    Thanks so much for helping me remember these things about my mother. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. I loved seeing these photos. I especially thank you for the picture of the Cedar Waxwings, as I am Pittsburgh, PA, missing the riot of birds in my backyard in the SF Bay Area, of which Cedar Waxwings are regulars!

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