Birds Washington Coast

Pelican Feeding Frenzy

After we finished birding Tokeland, we headed back to Westport thinking that Logan would be returning before too long.  Until he returned, I thought I would try to get better pictures of the Brown Pelicans.  It took several stops, but I finally found a spot where they were fishing. There were so many pelicans that I got multiple chances to get the “perfect” picture.  I never did get it, but I came a lot closer than I have in the past.  It turns out that it is extremely hard to predict the moment a pelican begins its dive.

They spend a lot of time suspended mid-air like this, but more often than not they decide not to dive and continue looking for another fish.

It turned out, for me at least, that the best chance of catching one diving was to look for a spot where another pelican had just hit the water.

If you focused long enough another pelican would often join the feast.

Sometimes two more would join 

and then another.

I was most surprised to see how many gulls tried to join the feast.  I don’t think I saw a single pelican catch a fish without being joined by a gull.

Washington Coast

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. 

Washington Coast

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.  

Washington Coast

The Way to End a Perfect Day

After spending the morning observing the shorebirds at Bottle Beach, I knew that the rest of the day would be anti-climatic, but it would have been a sin to leave the coast at noon on a day as beautiful as that day so we drove up the road to Westport to see what we would find in the harbor. 

We didn’t find anything we haven’t seen in previous trips, but I’ll have to admit that I still enjoy seeing Sea Lions,

even though most fishermen see them as pests and would like to drive them out of the marina.

There’s less hostility towards Harbor Seals,

probably because they eat a lot less fish and are “cuter.”

Finally sighting a Common Loon in breeding plumage

after several fruitless visits this year brought the day to a delightful close.