Great Expectations

I originally headed out to Ocean Shores and Westport to see Loons in breeding colors, Brown Pelicans, and Godwits.  As it turned out, I only saw two Common Loons, 

and neither was in breeding colors.  I wondered if that was merely because of tides or whether the dredging they did earlier in the year drove the loons away.  Nor was there a single Brown Pelican to be seen.

Instead, there were numerous Bufflehead,

and Surf Scoters, 

both which I see regularly in Tacoma.The only unusual bird I saw at Westport was what appeared to be an Eared Grebe in winter plumage.

I drove down to Tokeland in hopes of seeing the Godwits, but all I saw was this Willet. 

Expectations are strange.  They motivate us to break out of our usual ruts and look for new experiences.  When they’re not met, though, they can disappoint and discourage us from trying again. 

Luckily, I have early memories of salmon fishing.  When the salmon weren’t running and we had been “skunked” for the day, Dad always took us closer to shore so we could catch “bottom fish.” 

To this day I prefer bottom fish to salmon, but I’d still prefer to get shots of loons in breeding color and pelicans than Eared Grebes or Willets.

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