Skunked at Big Beef Creek

After having so much fun shooting photos of Great Blue Herons and Eagles at Big Beef Creek last year, I wasn’t about to miss the event this year. So when I heard rumors that the birds were beginning to show up I headed out to Seabeck on May 20th and again on May 22nd. The weather was beautiful both times and I had enough time to shoot this shot where the creek forms a lake before entering the Sound.

Big Beef Creek

I’m not sure I ever realized how beautiful it was the first time I was there.

Unfortunately, in the 6 hours I was there, I only saw two Great Blue herons fly by and only managed to get a few shots, like this one that flew by below me,

Great Blue Heron flying

and this one that landed up in the trees, which still strikes me as remarkable for a bird with such long legs and wings.

Great Blue Heron landing n tree

Later a pair of eagles landed in some nearby branches and appeared to be “singing” to each other, or, at least, vocalizing.

Eagles vocalizing

After a few minutes, they stopped vocalizing and posed for this shot before one of them took off.

Pair of Eagles

Still not sure what that was all about, but I was mesmerized for the length of their performance.

This pair of gulls also seemed to be a pair, but thank goodness they seemed content with some rather odd head nodding,

Pair of Gulls

because their voices are too raucous for my taste


When nothing else showed up at Big Beef Creek after two or three hours, I drove up to Seabeck to see if there were any eagles there. There weren’t.

So I consoled myself with this shot of a male and female Purple Martin, a bird I seldom see and have never managed to get a shot of together before.

Pair of Purple Martins

I think that if these had been fishing outings we would have said that we got “skunked.” As a kid, when we didn’t catch any salmon we’d go catch some bottom fish just for the thrill of landing something. It’s hard to complain about getting to bask in sunshine for three hours both times, but I could have caught the same rays in my backyard and avoided getting up at 5:30 and driving an hour up the road.