Bloedel Camellia

The weather here has been ideal for weeds with light rain and intermittent sunshine, so I’ve been most of my extra time out in the yard, not sitting in front of the computer adjusting shots.

This shot of a Bloedel camelia

will have to serve as a placeholder until I can get some computer time.

More Loons

We ended our two-day trip to Gray’s Harbor with a stop at Tokeland in hopes of seeing the Godwits that had been reported. Nary a one was spotted, but this Common Loon

swam right up next to me on the boardwalk and proceeded to show off.

Couldn’t figure out exactly what it was doing since there wasn’t another loon in sight

but I was more than happy to capture my second unusual sequence

in a single day.

What a great way to wish the loons bon voyage until they return from their breeding grounds next Fall/Winter.

Unexpected is Good, Right?

Getting a great shot of a bird that you often see is fulfilling, but getting a not-so-great shot of a Double-Crested Cormorant in breeding colors

is almost as exciting. I see these kinds of cormorants quite often, but I don’t think I have ever seen them in breeding plumage before. If I have seen them in breeding plumage before, it’s never been close enough to see the crests or the odd coloring on the beak.

One reason I return to Westport often is that I am apt to see birds there that I’ve never seen elsewhere. I think I have seen a Pacific Loon

once or twice before, but it’s always a treat, even if it is too far away to get a good shot and the sun is behind it instead of behind me.

At first this was “dismissed” as a very distant Common Loon, but the round head convinced me that it was something else. After waiting around for nearly a half hour it came close enough to get a shot of the distinctive stripes on the neck.

The neck should definitely be gray, not black, either the result of shadows or changes from winter plumage to breeding plumage.

A Little Loony

Though I was disappointed about only having an hour and a half to photograph the shorebirds at Bottle Beach, that gave us plenty of time to visit Westport and Tokeland to see what birds were there.

Although there were very few loons in the harbor itself, I was thrilled when this Common Loon came hurtling across the water directly at us.

Truthfully, I’ve never seen this behavior though I’ve been photographing loons for over ten years now. It was hard to tell whether the loon was trying to fly or was just using the breaststroke to get away from something.

All I know is that it came skidding across the water at me, turned, and settled into the water,

before striking a noble pose.