Birds of Edmonds, WA. 2019

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Bill Anderson

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Staff member
#1
New year, new thread.

Monday afternoon (1-7-19) was bright and sunny, so Daren and I went to the marsh after the Save Our Marsh meeting was adjourned.

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The only photogenic birds I saw were a few herons. One was in the grass fairly close to the boardwalk. I was surprised that it did not fly off as we walked past.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
The carcass of a dead coot was lying between the board walk and the fence for the doggie daycare. I seldom see coots at the marsh and when I do, they are swimming in the creek on the far south side. How the coot died and how the carcass got where it is remains a mystery.

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I could find no evidence of it being dismantled and eaten by a predator.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
I went to Sprague Pond in Lynnwood's Mini Park around noon Wednesday (1-9-19) while my son was working out at the gym. I used my pickup as a blind due to the proximity of the ducks and my reluctance to get cold and wet in the rain and wind.

The iridescent feathers of two male buffleheads shown through even in the overcast.

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A flock of American wigeons flew over from the far side. I think its the same flock I have been photographing this winter.

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Once again, no Eurasian or storm wigeons. :(

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Not many photo ops this month due to the bad weather. Tuesday morning (1-15-19) I met my friend and fellow bird photographer Bev at the fishing pier while my son Daren was bowling.

Red-breasted mergansers, winter visitors to Edmonds, have returned to their regular spot north of the marina's break water off Olympic Beach.

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Bev and I are both members of the Bird Fest planning committee. http://pugetsoundbirdfest.com/
Katy the Kingfisher, official mascot of Bird Fest, was on hand to remind us that the committee's first meeting for Bird Fest 2019 was later that night.

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Katy really likes the latest additions to the salmon sculptors at the marina.

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Surf scoters are regular winter visitors to the Edmonds waterfront although for the past two years there seem to be fewer than in years past. A small squadron was hanging around the fishing pier waiting for the tide to go out so they can pluck off mussels embedded on support legs of the pier.

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I typically use negative exposure compensation when photographing male surf scoters in the low, bright winter sunlight.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
Cormorants are also regular winter visitors with pelagic and double-crested being the most common.

Pelagic cormorant.

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A double-crested cormorant caught a large fish.

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This caught the attention of another cormorant and a food fight was on.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
Brant are returning. Their number will increase as they stay in the area to eat eel grass before returning in the spring to their nesting grounds in the far north.

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Chamber of Commerce shot of the Edmonds-Kingston ferry against the snow-capped Olympic Mountains.

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Non Chamber of Commerce shot of a Norway rat on the marina breakwater.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
Around noon Wednesday (1-17-19) a lone ring-billed gull was at Sprague Pond in Lynnwood's Min Park. I shot at -2/3 exposure compensation and still over exposed its bright white feathers a tad.

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The gull was noticeably smaller than the mallards, Canada geese, and other gulls around it.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
We finally got a sunny day on Tuesday (1-29-19) so my son and I went down to Brackett's Landing North to photograph birds and trains.

The Brant have begun arriving. Their numbers will increase as they feed on eel grass until their departure for their nesting grounds in the Arctic in April.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
A male red-breasted merganser was swimming around the jetty.

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The merganser was swimming close to three horned grebes. Periodically one of the grebes would come up with a fish.

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The merganser would give chase in hopes of stealing it from the grebe.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
The marsh has been pretty quiet so far this year. Here are some photos from the last day of January.

A great blue heron has been hanging out in the open space off the boardwalk between the #2 and #1 viewing platforms.

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It laid down for a minute, something I have never seen a heron do before.

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There have not been many ducks at the marsh this year. A few green-winged teals were swimming around.

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Wesley posed for me on a bush near the #2 viewing platform.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
It started snowing Sunday and continued through the night into Monday morning (2-4-19). Temps in the low 20's and a cloud cover kept the snow on the ground all day. A flock of juncos went crazy at my bird feeders.

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A very cold varied thrush perched on one of my backyard fences.

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Bill Anderson

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Staff member
#16
I had taken my hummingbird feeders inside for the night to keep them from freezing. After I put them back out in the morning, two hummers called a truce for breakfast. This photo was taken from inside my house through the sliding glass door, resulting in an insanely high ISO setting.

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After the birds warmed up, one hummer took over the feeder and sat there all day. It would chase off the other hummer if it approached.

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I could get very close to the feeder without the hummer budging.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
It was so cold that the fluid in the feeder would begin freezing after two hours. I could get directly under the feeder to swap it out with one from inside the house and the hummer would not move until I lifted the feeder off the hook. Even then the hummer hovered a few inches away from the feeder as I removed it from the the hook.

Once the feeder was completely off the hook. the hummer would fly to a nearby shrub and remain there until I hung up the other feeder with warm fluid. It would then fly back and perch on the new feeder and not budge. I wanted to photograph this action, so I had my son swap the feeders while I manned the camera. It was that time when the second hummer returned. You can see it in the lower right corner.

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The first hummer flew up as my son went to remove the feeder.

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The camera broke focus as the hummer hovered around the feeder while my son took it off the hook. It is supposed to be very cold again Tuesday, so I'll try for better shots then.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
It was sunny and cold all day Tuesday (2-5-19). The hummer sat at the feeder all day long except when it chased off other hummers.

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To a certain extent it even tolerated my son Daren shoveling off the back deck.

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It left for a few minutes when Daren got very close to the feeder, but returned when he was finished and remained at the feeder until after sunset. I suspect it spends the night in one of our shrubs or rhododendron bushes.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#19
When it gets really cold I keep the feeders inside at night. The sun was not up at 7:25am this morning (2-6-19), but the hummer was at the feeder as soon as I hung it up. It did not even wait for me to back off before it perched on the feeder to feed. It is about 12*F according to the thermometer on the back deck, so the fluid will freeze in about an hour. I will have to swap feeders until the sun is shining on the feeder and keeps the fluid from freezing.
 
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#20
The carcass of a dead coot was lying between the board walk and the fence for the doggie daycare. I seldom see coots at the marsh and when I do, they are swimming in the creek on the far south side. How the coot died and how the carcass got where it is remains a mystery.

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I could find no evidence of it being dismantled and eaten by a predator.

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Makes you wonder if disease played a part. I hear about contagious bird diseases, I hope this isn't the case. Is there a facility in your area that would respond to something like this?
 


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