We Took Logan to Westport

I expected that all of Logan’s local fishing outings would be merely a prelude to his Westport fishing trip.  Unexpectedly, it turned out that all of my local bird sightings were nothing compared to the two days we spent at Westport.

All I really hoped, and expected, to see on this visit was the Brown Pelicans. Strangely, there wasn’t a one in sight when we started walking out on the Westport Marina, making me wonder if they still hadn’t arrived.  

On our walk back to the parking lot, though, a few stragglers flew over and I managed to get some nice shots of them in bright sunlight.  I liked the lighting in this shot best, 

preferred the wing angle in this shot  but was disappointed in the dull colors, 

and loved this shot showing how long those wings really are (but hated the excessive shadows.)

As expected, overall there were very few birds in the harbor.   The only other bird I saw the first afternoon was this Pigeon Guillemot carrying a small fish in its beak. 

Luckily, the weather was so nice that it was simply impossible to complain about the lack of birds.  With sunshine and temperatures in the mid-70’s, it doesn’t get much better than that at Westport. 

Naturally We Took Logan to Port Townsend

When I posted yesterday’s post I would have sworn that I had taken Logan down to Ruston the morning after his arrival.  I would have been wrong, which I didn’t realize until I started cleaning up after his departure.  While doing so, I discovered that the SX60H  had pictures taken of our trip to Port Townsend.  The pictures reminded me that I had wanted to have a family outing before he got hooked on fishing.  

Unfortunately, trying to get all the local Williams together seems harder than connecting with the Colorado Websters.  Only Lael was able to join us on our outing, and we had to get back by six so that she could make her swim lessons.  Despite that, everyone seemed to enjoy our trip, beginning with a walk along the beach at Ft Flagler.

I never go to Port Townsend without my birding camera and lens, but I didn’t take them on this trip because I wanted to keep up with the kids (and I didn’t think I’d see any birds).   Much to my surprise, we were greeted by several birds including this Black Oystercatcher.

A Black Oystercatcher is a relatively uncommon bird, but this is the second time  I have encountered one when I was only carrying my SX60H.  I’m wondering if not being prepared is a necessary part of sighting this particular bird.

After lunch and a walk through some of the Port Townsend shops we made a trip to Fort Worden where the kids toured the Marine Science Center. I spent the time looking off the pier and finally sighted the pigeon guillemots that I’ve been reading about since I began visiting the Science Center.

Heck, I even spotted a pair of Purple Martins atop a nesting box, 

something I’d never seen on previous visits.  

Hard to believe I would have forgotten this trip so quickly if I hadn’t taken photos, but I often find myself consulting my blog if I want to find when something has taken place. I sometimes fear that the internet is taking the place of my memory, not to mention my life.  

Back to Big Beef Creek

My second outing to Big Beef Creek/Seabeck this year turned out considerably better than my first visit, though still not as successful as visits in past years.  As usual, I got there earlier than I needed to and had to spend an  hour or so entertaining myself before the real action began.  

Though there seemed to be fewer fish, and birds, than in previous years, the gulls found fish before the Great Blue Heron or the Bald Eagles.  I must admit I was surprised to see an immature Glaucous-Winged Gull 

dive into the water 

and come up with a fish

before the herons or eagles had begun to feed.

Soon after, though, Great Blue Herons flew across looking for the best fishing spots.

An immature Bald Eagle quickly swept up a fish stranded on the shore, 

and buzzed me on the way to find a larger catch.

Skunked at Big Beef Creek

One of my favorite places this time of year is Seabeck/Big Beef Creek where Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles gather to feast on Midshipman and Sculpin runs.  

Unfortunately, my timing seems to have been off so far this year.  I first visited a little over a week ago but got so few shots that I didn’t even bother to download them to the computer until after my latest visit.

I picked a day when the tide went out very slowly and wasn’t a real low tide.  So I spent the first hour or so waiting for the tide to recede far enough that the eagles and herons would show up. Not one to rest quietly in the car (especially since I hadn’t thought far enough ahead to bring a book), I got this shot of some wild roses beside the road.  I think it was my favorite shot of the day.

The main distraction while waiting for the tide was watching the crows harass this immature Bald Eagle.

It needed better light to be a really good shot, but I still like the action.

As it turned out, the eagles and herons really never showed up in any numbers and, even though a few Great Blue Herons 

flew by in the distance they never stayed put very long.  We only saw one or two fish caught the three hours we were there.  Perhaps the tide wasn’t high enough, or low enough, for the fish to come in.  

Luckily when I visited a few days ago, I saw more Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons. Sometimes persistence and luck can compensate for a lack of wisdom.