As I said earlier, the main reason I go to Fort Flagler is to see the Harlequin ducks. That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t enjoy the whole experience. Before I even get to Flagler, I stop and observe the Bufflehead in the inner Bay.

These small ducks are quite elusive, but I love the challenge of trying to get a good shot of them. I wish the shot taken just before this shot had turned out clearer, but I still like the skidding action.

Bufflehead landing

You’ll notice that this male Bufflehead looks black and white, and that sharp contrast compounds the problem of getting a good shot.

It’s rare when you get a shot that reveals that the “black’ duck really isn’t black and white at all.

Bufflehead iridescent head

It’s hard just to get a shot where the eye is visible, but rarely can you show the iridescent colors in the head.

If there hadn’t been so few seabirds at Point Wilson in Port Townsend, I don’t think it would’ve ever seen these Buffleheads bobbing up and down in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Bufflehead in Straits of Juan de Fuca

I’m so used to seeing Bufflehead in sediment ponds, small lakes, and, occasionally, marinas, that at first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It’s hard to visualize this small duck battling ocean waves, but there they were, rising and falling like fishing floats. i suddenly saw them in a whole new light.