Birding Port Orchard

Winter seems to have loosened its grip on the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve managed to get outside several times in the last few weeks. This time of year my favorite place to bird is the Port Orchard Marina because it allows me to get the closest to the sea birds that overwinter here.

Barrow’s Goldeneye are always a beautiful bird, but the combination of closeness and sunshine reveal the true color of their beautiful heads,


which normally just look black.

Even after repeatedly seeing Hooded Mergansers, I find it impossible not to point the camera their way when they float by in full sunshine.


The males seem to get along remarkably well together until a female appears nearby.

Part of the appeal of the Port Orchard Marina is that you can never be sure what you’ll see there. Although Western Grebes


frequent Puget Sound, this is the first time I’ve seen one this winter.

It’s also the first time I’ve gotten close enough to get a decent shot of a male Red-Breasted Merganser,


looking like it’s still wearing last year’s plumage. I’m looking forward to getting closer later when its new plumage appears.

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