Love the One You’re With

Birding, like fishing, is unpredictable, which can be either frustrating or exciting, depending on how you view it. As I noted here in 2002, I loved fishing with my dad as a kid, so, it’s probably not surprising that birding is exciting, not frustrating,  for me. If you don’t see the Harlequin you were hoping/expecting to see, keep looking and you might see something equally exciting.

On this weekend, that was the Red-breasted Merganser.  I only saw two at Fort Flagler and they were both a long ways offshore, so far I could barely see them without my  840 mm telephoto lens, and, even then, this shot is heavily cropped.  Still, it’s impossible to miss that dramatic hairdo.  

This shot of a male Red-breasted Merganser with a large Sole taken a few miles down the road at Mystery Bay State Park would have been the shot of the day if it hadn’t been for the green reflections in the water.

I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by two male Red-Breasted Mergansers when we visited the Marine Center at Fort Worden.

It was a little disappointing that the two males never came closer even though I waited several minutes for them to come closer, but I was pleasantly surprised when three female Red-Breasted Mergansers swam right up to Marine Center dock where we were standing.

This female sat on the beach nearby preening herself 

before rejoining the others and swimming right under us as they left, so close that I could never get all three females in the frame.

It would seem ungrateful to complain about not seeing as many Harlequins as I had hoped to see when I saw so many Red-breasted Mergansers, a bird I seldom see around Tacoma.

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