Sunday, March 31, 2013

More Seattle Nature

Another day, another trek into the wilderness.  Okay, trek on an easy path through a park in the wilderness. Still counts, right?  :-)

This time we were able to plan better, we had the maps and we laid out our stops.  Our first place was incredibly gorgeous.  The drive was spectacular, as was the view from the parking lot.  The restrooms were not, but we survived.  I was glad I had wet-wipes.  From the parking lot we saw this oystercatcher.  I was hoping to see more, but this was the only one we saw.  Look at that beak! They are hilarious.

 They had to go.  I can't tell what type of cormorant it is, the west coast has a few to choose from.  So in this place there is a beautiful beach to the right, woods in front, and a little inlet to the left.  We walked through the woods checking on the inlet once in a while, and then came out of the woods and walked back along the beach.
 This guy was blasting his song all over the place.
white-crowned sparrow

So I heard a hummingbird and then it whizzed by so I'm looking around for little teeny birds, and then my friend says, "Well, okay, but who are those guys?"  "What guys?"  "Right up there."  Oh, those guys - they are bald eagles!  Birding is much better with a friend.  :-)
bald eagle
 This is a terrible picture of a really cool thing.  This is a ruby-crowned kinglet, with its ruby crown raised!  I wish the picture were better, but I'm thrilled with having any picture of it.  The crown is usually mostly hidden, so it's a treat to see it like this.
ruby-crowned kinglet
 Goldeneyes!  My first time seeing them outside a zoo!  We are now out of the woods (ha!) and these were in the ocean.  We sat on some driftwood watching the ocean for a while, and we saw dolphins!  We would see a bunch of them surface to breathe, and then they would disappear for a long time.  I got no pictures at all, although I did get some shots of water with no dolphins.  It was such a nice way to spend such a beautiful day!
common goldeneye
 Looking back towards the woods, the eagles were overseeing their domain.  Woe to the rabbit who dares to enter!
bald eagle
Sometimes in Seattle you get to see stuff like this.  This is the inlet.  Back in the parking lot before we left we saw what we thought might be young seals, but I sort of think they might have been otters.  They stayed at the surface of the water for a long time, so I'm leaning towards otter.  Plus I love otters so I really want them to have been otters.  The pictures are inconclusive.  Anyway, a great park!
 Once again, my camera loves mallards.  How gorgeous is this?  Our next stop was another park with more water, another path through the woods, and more beauty.
 Ever wondered how ducks take off from the water?  They flap like crazy and start running across the water until they build up enough speed to fly.  It doesn't work for me.
 Hey, it's the same duck as from yesterday!  I mean, probably not the same actual duck, but the same ~kind~ of duck.  Cool!
ring-necked duck

This kinglet led me on quite a merry chase.
golden-crowned kinglet 
Sometimes in Seattle you get to see stuff like this.
 Are you kidding me?  My friend found ~another~ eagle?  Hahahaha, I love this place!
bald eagle
 Our third stop was also very pretty, just too dark for pictures.  I did get one of a towhee, I don't see spots but it must be a spotted.  I blame the light.  From there we headed back to the hotel, and durint that trip I realized that what I thought was a bridge was actually a ferry route.   Aughghghgh!  So there was some extra driving, but we made it eventually.  Luckily room service was still serving!
spotted towhee

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