Slow Birding at Theler Wetlands

Birding around home has actually been rather slow. My last two trips to Belfair have yielded very few photos worth showing or keeping. Most of the birds that are there are small, elusive songbirds that are too often juveniles or otherwise difficult to identify.

I think this is a Pacific-Slope Flycatcher,

Pacific-Slope Flycatcher

but it’s hard to be sure because most of the shots I took were blurry or partially obscured and flycatchers look very similar.

The most abundant birds were the swallows, though they didn’t seem able to keep the mosquito population under control, judging from Leslie and my bites. It wasn’t until John told me that the nests in the barn were Cliff Swallow nests

Cliff Swallow Nest

that I set out to capture a picture of a Cliff Swallow. Unfortunately, after three years of trying to get a good picture of a swallow in flight I still haven’t managed to do so. So, I had to try to figure out which of the hundreds of swallows sitting on the telephone wires were Cliff Swallows. I’m pretty sure this is one, since it isn’t a Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, or Violet-Green Swallow.

Cliff Swallow

I must admit, though, that it may be a juvenile because it lacks the white patch on the forehead shown in most photos.

A sure sign that summer is nearly over and fall is just around the corner was the presence of Great Blue Heron throughout the refuge,

Great Blue Heron

a sure sign they’ve left the rookery.