Nature’s Bounty

I was quite surprised that the last leg of my Thursday trip to the beach was the most rewarding part of the trip. Tokeland usually isn’t my favorite place to bird as there’s little to do than stand on the dock or short causeway looking for birds, usually the resident Marbled Godwits. I much prefer Bottle Beach, particularly when no one else is there.

Still, the Marbled Godwits are beautiful birds and I love this shot of several standing on the top of a piling.

Four Marbled Godwits on Piling

I thought that this might actually be the best shot of the day. I particularly like that toe hanging over the edge, subtly suggesting it might be a little crowded on that post.

I also got my first shot of the Bar-Tailed Godwit that local birders have been tweeting about for much of the last month.

Bar-Tailed Godwit

It’s a rarity around here since it’s generally only found in Alaska. I was glad to finally see it, but it’s obvious at moments like this that I’m not a birder at heart, as I wasn’t particularly elated at seeing it. The photographer in me, however, was irritated that I couldn’t get a shot of it doing more than just standing, even though I waited around nearly a half hour something to happen.

No, the real thrill of the day for me, though other birders didn’t seem too interested, was watching wave after wave of cormorants fly by the dock.

Flock of Cormorants Flying Low Over the Water

There were hundreds, if not thousands of them, that flew by as I stood at the dock for a rather short period of time. I was absolutely dumbstruck. Since they’re year-round residents in the Puget Sound I’d never really thought of them migrating, though apparently some varieties do.

As I headed south I saw more Cormorants in Willapa Bay, but I was really struck by the huge number of brown, nondescript ducks lining the shores of the bay. Unfortunately there really wasn’t a good place to pull off the highway, and I knew that even if I did pull over a picture would do nothing to convey the sense of bounty I felt as I drove along. For a short time I could almost deceive myself into believing that all is right with the world and that man and nature are still in balance.

I felt so good at the end of the drive that before turning back for home I stopped at the local Dairy Queen and splurged on, not one, but two Coney Dogs with cheese, damn the high cholesterol ratings on the annual physical. Life’s good.

6 thoughts on “Nature’s Bounty”

  1. The marbled godwits on the piling are gorgeous. The colors are subtle and surprising (green llichen and pink bills!) and that toe!

    Thank you, Loren.

  2. and a new meaning for “the dog days.”
    you catch the cormorants at a moment of grace when so often they seem to labor. thanks. kjm

  3. beautiful pictures and chees-covered coney dogs. you want balance? that’s balance for me!!! i love the toe hanging off the edge of the piling loren. i also love the tufts of grass growing improbably in the middle of nowhere in the bar-tailed godwit picture. have a lovely day out there. steven

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