Better Late Than Never, I Guess

For better or worse, the weather has been rather bleak around here the last two weeks. “Better” because I have been busy getting ready for Christmas and busy doing some serious “winter cleaning.” I finally managed to copy all the comments from my Battleground and Prairie yearbooks to my computer and clear away an entire shelf. All I need to do now is put up some hooks to hang bags from and I’ll finally be able to walk into the closet and vacuum the carpet. If there had been a sunny day, though, there’s no way I would have finished those jobs.

December 5th was our last sunny day, and I spent it at Theler Wetlands and Port Orchard. I’ve never seen the water as high as it was that day due to flooding and a very high tide. In fact, the caretaker told me that if I didn’t turn around I might have to take an alternate route back because parts of the trail would be under water.

The high water levels changed the entire dynamics of the wetlands. I saw very few ducks, but there were gulls like this Ring-Billed Gull right next to the trail, something I’d never seen before.

Ring-Billed Gull

Great Blue Herons are a common sight at Theler, but seldom as close to the trail as this one was,

Great Blue Heron

so close I had to join two shots together to get it in the frame.

This female Northern Harrier was much close than usual, too, close enough she actually seemed to notice me.

Northern Harrier

There was also an unusually high number of Double-Crested Cormorants in the river, though they took flight quickly when anyone walked down the trail.

Double-Crested Cormorant

It wasn’t great weather and it wasn’t great birding, but seen in retrospect after nearly two weeks of solid rain, it almost seems like a perfect day, and I felt lucky that I didn’t miss it.