Logan Birds Big Beef Creek and Seabeck

Logan, Leslie and I were greeted by several photographers and even more Great Blue Herons when we arrived at Big Beef Creek at 5:40 AM on June 30th. High tide was nearly two hours earlier and the Great Blue Herons had probably been fishing for nearly an hour by that time. Remembering all the times my father had gotten me up before sunrise so we could be on the water at sunrise, it was probably ideal fishing for the herons.


If there had been more light, fewer clouds, and the herons had been a hundred yards closer, it would have been a perfect photographic opportunity. As it was, we were treated to quite the show as the eagles swept in repeatedly to steal fish from the herons. Unfortunately, there was so little light that even if you could manage to pull a little color into the photograph there was so much noise that most of the shots were not salvageable.

An hour later, with the sun higher on the horizon, I was able to get a few shots that captured some of the action — if I adjusted them in Lightroom and didn’t crop them too tightly.


Luckily things turned better when we finally moved up to Seabeck around 8:00 AM. Even with the lack of sunshine, we were close enough to get some pretty good shots. This immature Bald Eagle flew in to greet us.


Logan seemed to be having a great time,


which made the 4:30 wake-up worthwhile, no matter how few shots might turn out. Leslie and Logan also spotted these Harbor Seals hanging out below the wharf, one of the few times I’ve ever seen them with more than their head out of the water.


The main attraction here, though, are the Great Blue Herons which gather at the fishing hole just behind Barbie’s (closed) restaurant.


They gather here just before the tide goes out enough to reveal a small pool where the Sculpin seem to get trapped in larger numbers than anywhere else. If you’re lucky, you get to witness the intimidation the herons use to claim the spot.


If you’re unlucky you miss the best shot of the day because one of the herons jumps right out of the frame. My consolation is that Logan, standing further away, managed to capture the whole scene (which I posted quite awhile ago) with my older, far-less-expensive gear .

Logan Visited Us a Month Ago

It’s hard to believe it has been over a month since Logan was here, but it has. Logan wanted to go photographing with “gramps,” but I was afraid that birding was nearing the summer doldrums.

On Logan’s first day here we started out at Theler Wetlands, and although the Marsh Wren,


baby swallows,


and Killdeer


put on a show for us, it was pretty slow birding-wise.

I really didn’t expect that Beef Creek would be better with the high tide so late in the afternoon, but I figured we didn’t have much to lose. There were more eagles there than I expected, and at least one pair put on a dramatic air show.


Logan was also quite amused when a professional photographer threw out a small fish to bait the eagles and a young gull swallowed it whole


as you can see by the bulge in the neck.

Later, Logan sighted this Great Blue Heron sitting on the dock in a weird pose,


a pose I’ve only seen a few times all the times I’ve observed Great Blue Heron.

Logan wasn’t discouraged by the lack of Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles and was eager to return early — real early — the next morning after Pat, our resident expert, said she thought there would be a lot of birds there at high tide. I wasn’t really sure I’d be able to get Logan, and Leslie, up by 5:00 AM the next day, but I said I was willing to do it if Logan wanted to go.

Everyday Beauty

When looking at the past, it is easy to remember the highlights while forgetting everyday life. I had almost forgotten this visitor. Mira and Lael were downstairs playing with the Wii when they called me down to see a visitor, a Wilson’s Warbler that seemed to want to join them in their play.


I was amazed that it didn’t immediately fly off when I went outside to get a better shot of it.


Another day I interrupted my walk to take pictures in the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden. This Tiger Swallowtail


flitted back and forth between flowers just as I did.

Hundreds of roses were in bloom, but these were my favorites


perhaps because they are the closest to the wild roses I see in Belfair.

I really love the lilies that are just outside the Rose Garden, one of the few flowers that deer apparently won’t eat.


And, my personal favorite, the dahlias were also beginning to blossom. I wondered if this were a new variety this year


since I didn’t remember photographing it in the past.

Visitors and trips to special places may stand out most in our memory, but it’s still the daily beauty that sustains us.