Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2017

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Bill Anderson

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For the past week or so, small sandpipers have been commuting between the marsh and Brackett's Landing. I took these shots of western sandpipers Thursday (8/31) afternoon.
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The birds blended into the dried kelp.
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Some of the birds were so close that I got some Rocky-esque shots.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A bird swooping over the marsh Saturday afternoon (9/2) scared sandpipers and killdeer into flight. I only got one good shot of the falcon-like bird. I believe it was a merlin, as it is the time of year when I have seen fledglings hunting dragonflies at the marsh.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The sandpiper parade continues at the marsh. I took these photos early Sunday evening (9/3/17) with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4TC. The usual problems of distance and heat waves were still present, even thought the shots were taken about an hour before sunset. I think these are westerns as our regular visitors have been least and westerns.

Click on an individual photo for a full screen view. The white stuff floating in the water is feathers and down from ducks and geese.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday afternoon (9/4) I photographed a merlin at the marsh. It was dismantling a dragonfly it had captured while being pursued by a purple martin. I photographed merlins at the marsh in 2014 and 2015, but saw none in 2016.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A swallow-tailed gull has been visiting the area for over a week. The gull, a native of the Galapagos Islands, is the only nocturnal gull in the world. This is reportedly only the third recorded sighting of this species in North America. People have been coming to the area from across the US and Canada to view the gull. More information on the gull can be found here:
https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/galapagos-swallow-tailed-gull/

The gull was seen at the Edmonds marina Thursday morning (9/7), so I went down to take photos with my 5DIII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom + 1.4x TC. Since the gull is a nocturnal feeder, it stayed at the spot all day. I returned in the afternoon to take stationary shots with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC (tripod mounted) and flight shots with the 7DII + 100-400L II.

The gull was resting with a flock of Heermann's gull. Its black head helped to find it among the other gulls.
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One spotting feature of the gull is its large, red eyes, which I tried to capture in photos.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The gull stayed at the marina for just a minute, then flew back to the water.
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It began dipping into the water, which looked like it was bathing, drinking, or feeding.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Friday afternoon (9/8) my son Daren and I went back down to the marina to photograph the swallow-tailed gull. It moved to a location on the breakwater visible from the marina walkway at Anthony's Restaurant & Beach Cafe.

I started out taking some photos with the 7DII + 500L telephoto lens + 1.4x TC mounted on a tripod.
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I then swapped the 1.4x TC for a 2x TC. While the 2X TC got me closer, it also softened the photos to the extent that I could not make any close crops.
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Here are more wing shots for Jerome. Click on the photos and you can see the softening, even though the focal point was spot on.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The gull is drawing birders from across the US and Canada. The miracles of cyber space and social media allow up-to-the minute updates on the bird's location. It was last reported at Pt. Wells as I type. This is good, as the fishing pier will be partially closed Saturday for cleaning.
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Katy, the official mascot of the Puget Sound Bird Fest, was trying to talk the gull into staying for Bird Fest, which is next weekend. http://pugetsoundbirdfest.com/
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A few forum members were on hand to photograph the gull. Can you spot them?
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The swallow-tailed gull was not the only avian attraction at the waterfront Friday afternoon.

Close-up of Katy the Kingfisher.
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A second female kingfisher was perched on the marina side of metal breakwater at the marina entrance.
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A flock of western sandpipers along with a lone sanderling was at Brackett's Landing. The sanderling (left) really stood out due to its size.
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SIF (shorebirds in flight) shots.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Earlier that morning I had photographed some birds from my back deck.

Male flicker on the roof of my shed. It had probably been feeding at the suet feeder.
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Black-capped chickadee rejecting a seed from my bird feeder.
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Juncos will probably pick it off the ground.
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Red-breasted nuthatch. They bury seeds in the deep crevices of the bark of the four large Doug firs in my backyard.
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Steller's jay begging for a peanut. I quit tossing out peanuts for the jays because it drew eastern gray squirrels up to my back deck. Earlier in the week at the marsh I talked to a couple from Minnesota who were in Edmonds for their daughter's wedding. They were hoping to see a Steller's jay as there aren't any in the Midwest.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Long-tailed weasels reside at Brackett's Landing. I got a decent shot of one a few years ago, but all I got Sunday (9/10) was a shot of its signature tail.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday (9/11) bird photos.

A flicker at the feeder.
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I usually don't get hummer activity at my house during the summer, but Monday morning two were chasing each other around the backyard.
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One stopped to refuel. It looks like a female.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I went down to the marsh shortly before sunset.

Long-billed dowitcher, probably the same one that has been spotted the past few days. I had to shoot through the cattails and rushes using -1 exposure compensation due to the horizontal light from the nearly setting sun.
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The autumn recrudescence may be causing this heron to gather nesting material.
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Here is a little bit about autumn recrudescence by Christine Elder, who will at Bird Fest this weekend.
https://christineelder.com/autumnal-recrudescence/
 
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