Harlequins at Ft Flagler

Since last Saturday’s weather was predicted to be even better than Friday’s delightful day, I was determined not to waste the day working in the yard, no matter how badly the lawn needed mowing or the flower beds needed weeding. No, we were going to Ft. Flagler and Port Townsend to revel in the sunshine. Besides, before long the Harlequin ducks will be heading to their breeding grounds, unless it is in the Olympics or Cascades where once again we are having heavier than usual Spring snow.

When I arrived at Ft Flagler I was worried that the considerable number of campers who had also decided to take advantage of the sunshine might have scared them off. The further I walked down the beach without seeing them, the more worried I became, needlessly it seems because they hadn’t left

flock of Harlequin ducks

but had merely gone to the point, the furthest point away from the campers.

Unfortunately, it was cloudy while we were there ( the sun didn’t reveal itself until we reached Port Townsend), but the magic of Aperture and the new Photoshop CS6 tryout comes close to reproducing their colors

male Harlequin

if not the feathers.

Once again, it seemed possible to get closer to the birds than when it’s sunny, and getting closer helps to compensate for the lack of light. I seldom can get as close to the flock as I did Saturday.

They did swim away, but not very fast and not very far away, either.

male and female Harlequins

It was a longer walk than I had anticipated, but it’s hard to complain when you can get the pictures you want and the exercise you need.

Ironically, just before we left I drove to another good birding spot, and there was a smaller flock of Harlequins right next to the spot where I parked.

male Harlequins

I could have gotten all the pictures I wanted while barely leaving the car, but what would have been the fun in that?

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