Saturday, March 30, 2013

Exploring Seattle's Natural side day one

A day of gallivanting about, hiking, looking at wildlife, and experiencing Seattle.  And a little bit getting lost and driving more than planned.  This was not entirely unexpected.  I did not, however, expect to see this.  I think it might be an Easter-related thing.

At our first stop, we went to the deck overlooking the water.  And we saw some fancy ducks!  Including ring-necked ducks, this male........

ring-necked duck

..... and this female.  
ring-necked duck
 There were lots of geese, here are a couple coming in for a landing.  It's just barely pre-splash.
Canada goose
 More fancy ducks.
northern shoveler, american coot
 And swallows in front of the fancy ducks.  There were three kinds of swallows there, I don't really know which ones these are.
 More geese coming over from a different area.  Someone told us that they might have been chased by an eagle, which sounded extremely promising to us!
Canada goose

 And further up the path, here he is!  We had been hoping to see an eagle, so we were quite happy about this big guy.
bald eagle
On the other side of the spectrum was this little warbler, in the same area as the eagle.  I wonder if migration is a bit earlier here than in NY, or if they overwinter here.  
yellow-rumped warbler
 Chickadee!  We saw several of these, but you know how they are.  Fast and flighty, that's how they are!  There are some other kinds out here but this looks tome like my old friend the black-capped chickadee.
black-capped chickadee

Finally a good look at the towhee.  Look at those spots!  Yep, that's how they do it on the west coast.
spotted towhee
There are 4 or 5 male hooded mergansers, and sometimes they got feisty and reared back, showing off their crests.  Yes, it's quite impressive!  A nice good-bye.

hooded merganser

On to our next location.  It looks slightly dodgy.  There is only parking for three cars.  It looks a little like we might be trespassing.  And these guys can make a significant amount of noise.
Steller's jay

But down the trail it gets gorgeous very quickly.   Hummingbird!!!!!  I am always so happy to see a hummingbird.  Especially perched!  Even if it's completely hopelessly backlit.  And it leaves before I can zoom.  And I can't figure out what kind it is.  Even then I am thrilled to see one!

mystery hummingbird

Buffleheads!  It was a great spot for fancy ducks. We just went a little ways down the tril to some sort of pond, then it was unclear whether the trail looped or not, so we went back.
On the way out we heard a tapping and found this gorgeous little fellow!  Okay, I didn't hear it at all but luckily my friend did.  :-)
red-breasted sapsucker
A brown creeper!  It's funny the mix of familiar and new species.

brown creeper

Our third stop we saw a bunch of clam-diggers of the human variety.  I guess when they say "better at high tide" they meant it!  Not good for birds, but quite entertaining.

Then we got passed by a Teddy Bear-oriented biker gang.  I am not making this up.  How much do I love Seattle!!?!?!?!?!  :-)
Teddy Bear Biker 2

Teddy Bear Biker 2

Teddy Bear Biker 3

Teddy Bear Biker Gang

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