Back to Belfair

We’ve been busy entertaining company from California, so I haven’t had time to finish Elizabeth Bishop The Complete Poems yet.

I did take our guests to Belfair today, and though there were remarkably few birds, I did manage to get a few shots I was happy with.

First, I managed to get a decent shot of a Spotted Towhee, a bird I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get a picture of for quite awhile:

My recent pursuit of the elusive Belted Kingfisher continued today, as one met us nearly at the start of the hike and proceeded to streak up and down the river for the next two hours, all the time refusing to sit in one spot long enough for me to get a good shot of it. Still, I think this shot is by far the best I’ve gotten so far:

Since I’m seeing these guys everywhere now, I’m convinced that I will manage to get a great shot one of these days, probably when I’m least expecting it. As I said today, waiting for that perfect shot of one should keep me going for a while.

Expect the Unexpected

I almost didn’t need my camera at Theler Wetlands Trails and Nature Preserve this week as there weren’t many birds around, and the ones who were there, including the robins, didn’t seem to want their picture taken.

Personally, I’m used to the kind of robins that try to take over your yard and hang around whenever you’re out in the garden, waiting for you to turn over a worm or two. So I was a little surprised that they flew off whenever approached, even when they were so far up in a tree you couldn’t possibly threaten them.

Though I managed to get closer than I ever have to a Belted Kingfisher, it was no easy task as I moved up and down the river and sat around for several hours waiting to get this shot of him.

I’m beginning to wonder if these birds were the real inspiration for Woody Woodpecker, as they seem like half-crazed, speed demons who race up and down the river making raucous bird-calls that make crows and jays seem positively harmonious. When you try to get close, they berate you loudly and speed off. In other words, I love them. Stay tuned, I’m determined to get a great picture of one yet.

The only friendly, photogenic animal I met all day was this young harbor seal

who kept swimming back and forth to have its picture taken. If it had been warmer I might have been convinced to join him as he seemed to be looking for a friend and hung around as long as I was willing to take pictures. Needless to say, the fact that I wasn’t expecting to get a picture of a harbor seal made these pictures even more special. While I was more than willing to take advantage of his friendliness to take pictures, I fear his approach to humans is probably not as wise as that of the refuge birds.

After all, some fishermen are convinced that these vicious predators, not the hordes of boats and nets lining the rivers, nor the runoff from industry or roads, are really responsible for the decline in salmon. Of course, these are the same people who voted twice for Bush, proving not all bird-brains have wings, though they may have flights of fancy.