It used to be that I loved to go to the ocean just to walk along the beach, to simply enjoy the rhythmic sound of the water lapping the shores. That’s changed since I’ve taken up bird watching. Though I still enjoy the sound and smell of the ocean, I seek out places where there is a rich ecosystem, where you can find birds, mammals, and sea creatures.
It seems ironic that old Forts, symbols of man at his most destructive, should now provide some of the best places (at least in Washington State) to see nature as it once was. Ft. Flagler beaches, at least those bordering Townsend Bay, are great places to see a variety of birds, as noted in the Seattle Times article entitled “Shorebirds star at Fort Flagler State Park”
Although a spotting scope or, at the very least, a good set of binoculars are necessary to see some of the wildlife, you can see a variety of birds just by paying attention while you’re walking the beach. This Red-Necked Grebe, starting to change into its breeding colors, was diving further out than the more common Horned Grebes.
Although this Common Loon was photographed in a nearby harbor,
there were several loons further out at Ft. Flagler.
Ft Flagler is also one of the few places where I consistently find Brandt,
a type of goose I didn’t know existed until I started visiting the Olympic Peninsula.
Even on this trip I photographed a lot of birds I haven’t shown because they’ve been featured in shots taken closer to home, like Horned Grebe and Bufflehead, to name a few.