Birding Tokeland

I felt a little guilty about not going our fishing with Logan, but not guilty enough to overcome the sense that it would be stupid to pay $250 to spend the afternoon throwing up like the last time I went salmon fishing on the ocean.  So, after a quick breakfast, Leslie and I set out to entertain ourselves for 6-8 hours while Logan enjoyed himself.  

We drove down to Tokeland to see if the Godwits or the pelicans were there. They weren’t there when we arrived.  In fact, other than an awful lot of gulls, there only seemed to be a pair of Pigeon Guillemots who didn’t immediately take off when I focused on them.

After spending 10 or 15 minutes taking photos of them, I decided that I would head back to Westport to check out the pelicans again.  

Just as a I approached the car where Leslie was reading her iPad, a large shorebird that I didn’t recognize zipped by me. Irritated by the fact that I had somehow failed to spot it on the shore, I walked up the road from the dock scanning the shoreline.  

I was quite surprised to spot a lone Willet foraging.

I was even more surprised to see it pick up a very muddy crab, walk over to the water and 

drop it in the water, leave it for a moment, and carefully pick it  back up and quickly

down it.  I’ve been looking at shorebirds for quite awhile now, but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen one eat a crab, much less rinse its food off.

I got another surprise when I walked back to the car to tell Leslie it was worth getting out of the car.  A Pigeon Guillemot was sitting on the railing looking down.  Trying to figure out what it was looking out, I noticed this Pigeon Guillemot frantically flapping its wings.  

Although I never saw a nest, I’m pretty sure that the pair were nesting under the newly built dock, which made me wonder if the county had build nest boxes there like they had in Fort Worden.

The Little Things in Life

When Paul took us to Waughop Lake last week, we saw a lot of people fishing which made me think that it might be another good place for Logan to fish.  Logan looked  it up online and decided he would like to fish there.  So, on Friday we took him there and walked while he fished.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly as clear as on our previous visit, and we didn’t even catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier in the distance.  Still, when you spend three hours in a place you often see things that you wouldn’t see on a quick walk through.

One of my favorite sightings of the day was this juvenile Downy Woodpecker, 

a bird I often catch a glimpse of but seldom get a decent shot of.  Perhaps because it grew up in such a busy place, this one seemed nearly indifferent to our presence.

As  usual in the summer, we heard a lot more birds than we saw but one particular tree seemed to attract more birds than usual.  Most unusual of all, they were clearly visible from the trail I stood on. Spotted Towhees are usually sighted scrambling through the thick underbrush, but this one sat on a tree limb glowering at me.

The Black-Capped Chickadee seemed equally indifferent.

This Orange-Crowned Warbler was shyer, but I’m happy with the shot because I seldom manage a photo even on the rare occasion that I spot one.

Although I was disappointed not to see the Osprey that frequent the lake, both Logan and I considered the day a success.

Logan Visits Tacoma

Our grandson Logan who is spending the week with us loves all kinds of fishing.  So we  took him down to Owens Beach to fish.

After talking with him for about a half hour I used the occasion to visit the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden and the new Dunes area.  

Despite the recent rain, the roses looked as beautiful as ever.

I was a  little surprised that a few of the Dahlias were also in bloom, though most of them still haven’t bloomed.

The newest attraction at Pt. Defiance is the Dunes area, and I will have to admit that I instantly fell in love with small, but brilliant flower that I can’t remember ever seeing before, even though it is a native flower.

They are particularly striking when mixed with the native grasses that dominate the Dunes area.

If I hadn’t ended up walking five miles in the morning, we would probably have repeated this routine in the afternoon when Logan fished the other end of Owens Beach, but, as it ended up, grandpa spent the afternoon recovering from leg cramps.   It was a pattern to be repeated several times last week.

Waughop Lake

Just because postings have been slow doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.  Unfortunately, most of what I’ve been doing makes for very poor copy.  Not sure why my workouts at the gym or my work in the yard would interest anyone besides myself. Meditation might be more interesting, but I have no idea what to say about since the point is to focus on blanking my mind.

The most interesting thing we’ve done lately is to go on local hikes with Paul from Tai Chi class; they are a great way to get exercise but aren’t consistently photographic.  However, last weeks hike around Waughop Lake did provide a few interesting shots of flowers.

The hillsides were covered with Fireweed, 

and much of the lake was lined by Water Lilies.

In fact there were flowers everywhere we went except for the deepest port of the forest.  

These purple flowers were found both on the trail around the lake and on the slopes above the lake.

Further up the hill we found this striking yellow flower in several places.

The most prolific flower on this visit, though, were the simply beautiful Sweetpeas.

The climb to the top of the hill was rewarded not just by the sighting of flowers, but a full view of Mt. Rainier towering in the distance.