Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2015

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wednesday afternoon (12-9-15) I went back down to "Lake Edmonds." After another night's rain, the water level of the marsh appeared even higher than the day before. A piece of driftwood which has been by the #1 viewing platform for years floated a little to the east and even closer to the boardwalk.

Few herons were present, as there was very little high ground for them to land. One flew in, but had to circle the marsh several times before it found a place to land.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
wow! does it get this high every winter when it rains like this?
That high water level is typical after 3-4 days of rain like we have had recently, although I saw it higher two(?) years ago. With the tidal gate closed, drainage of the marsh is totally dependent on the tide level in Puget Sound. There are not many extreme low tides this time of year, so the marsh drains quite slowly. While it was sunny and dry Wednesday, more rain is predicted for the rest of the week and throughout the weekend.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I returned to the marsh Thursday afternoon (12/10) between rain showers to check the water level. I took photos from the #3 viewing platform in the hopes of avoiding the problem with glare when facing south toward the low sun.

A flock of geese geese coming for a landing.
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A coot among some ducks.
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The herons were huddled up much closer than usual to the boardwalk and #1 viewing platform, no doubt a matter of finding high ground. I don't know why they don't perch in the trees that border Willow Creek on the south side of the marsh.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I always wonder if red-winged blackbirds migrate during the winter. Friday (12/11) a flock of mostly males was at the marsh. I don't know if their numbers amounted to four and twenty.
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Stefan's robins were still dining on berries on the bush next to the parking spaces.
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A black turnstone was on the marina breakwater opposite the fishing pier.
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As were five sanderlings.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Almost time to close out my 2015 Edmonds wildlife thread. While El Nino may be filling up our local reservoirs, the daily rain, gloom, and doom during the otherwise short daylight hours are not conducive to photo outings.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
It was still gloomy and doomy Monday afternoon (12/28), but it wasn't raining. I went down to the fishing pier in search of the reported surf birds, but failed to find any. I did find Katy, the resident marina kingfisher, perched on one of the concrete bulkheads next to the walkway. As I have previously stated, I think our resident marina kingfishers are habituated to people as they are not very skittish.

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Katy eventually flew over to the salmon artwork, another of her regular perches.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I got shots of other birds from the fishing pier.

Four red-necked grebes were calling to each other and swimming in pairs with their necks held high. Early courting behavior?????
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A juvie double-crested cormorant was making quite a splash as it bathed below the pier.
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A lone female golden eye. I have not seen many golden eye or bufflehead around the marina this winter migratory season.
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A juvie surf scoter has been swimming by itself below the pier for two weeks. I consider that to be unusual behavior as surf scoters usually swim together in squadrons.
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A common murre appeared to have something caught across its back. Whatever it was did not stop the bird from diving for fish.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A double-crested cormorant was swimming inside the marina. I thought the reflections were very artistic.
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I think this is the first seal pup I have seen inside the marina.
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It attempted to jump up onto a floating concrete dock, but the height was too great.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Time to close the curtain on another year of photographing the wildlife of Edmonds and the surrounding cities of Woodway, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace. Fortunately the last day of 2015 was clear and cold, which enabled me to get out and take some final photos of the year.

The day started at Mini Park in Lynnwood while my son was working out at the gym. Sprague Pond had frozen over, which enabled the gulls to do their "walk on water" routine.
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After lunch Daren and I made a trip to the marsh and marina. Nothing was happening at the marsh and I would have been shooting directly into the sun and glare off the mud and water.

The marina proved more fruitful. Six red-breasted mergansers were trolling the waters off Olympic Beach.
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Katy, the marina's resident female kingfisher, was soaking up the sun atop one of the salmon sculptors on the breakwater next to the walkway to the fishing pier.
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A lone sanderling was patrolling Olympic Beach.
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I finished the day (and year) with a shot of Dexter, my resident backyard Anna's hummingbird. It was about a half hour before sunset and Dexter was preparing to settle in for another cold night with temps expected to dip into the low 20's F. The hummer feeder I left outdoors is freezing as I type. After sunrise I'll swap it with the one I brought indoors for the night.
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Happy New Year everyone! :cool:
 
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