Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2017

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Bill Anderson

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Staff member
#41
Brant have been feeding on eel grass at various locations along the Edmonds waterfront in preparation for their spring migration back to the far north. Monday afternoon I photographed a small group at the underwater dive park at Brackett's Landing.
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I like to catch them wave hopping.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#42
A flock of golden-crowned sparrows visits the fish hatchery every spring. A good place to catch them is the bushes to the left of the driveway leading down to the hatchery. Better hurry before the bushes leaf out.

Wednesday afternoon (3/29/17) I could hear them chirping in the bushes. I finally located a female...
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and a male.
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Later that afternoon I got an artsy shot from Sunset Ave. of a flock of (Bonaparte's?) gulls flying across Puget Sound.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#43
Some birds from Thursday (3/30).

Marsh
My first of the year violet-green swallow.
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The kingfishers were active.
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As was a marsh wren.
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Brackett's Landing
Some Harlequin ducks were resting on the tethered log at the underwater dive park.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#44
Friday afternoon (3/31/17) a female red-winged blackbird was digging for larvae in the cattail heads at the marsh.
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A male was singing and at times chased the female.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#45
A female bushtit was in one of the (pine?) trees by the boardwalk. Bushtits make nests that look like sweat socks hanging from a tree.
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Two snipes were off the #1 viewing platform. They were first of the year snipes for me.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#46
Spring time avian activities were picking up at the marsh on April Fool's Day. The male red-winged blackbird continues to serenade and chase the ladies.

5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC (tripod mounted)
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There has been bushtit activity in one of the pine(?) trees that separates the board walk from the doggie daycare. I believe they may be making a nest. Just off the boardwalk a female was digging for larvae buried in the cattail heads. She will probably use cattail fuzz to construct her nest as well.

7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom (handheld)
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squirl033

Super Moderator
Staff member
#47
Yep, looks like she was collecting cattail fluff for her nest. Those little birds are hard to catch sitting still, but such fun to watch.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#48
From Thursday (4/6/17).
A flock of ring-necked ducks has been hanging out in Sprague Pond at Lynnwood's Mini Park.

Males:
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Female:
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A local birder told me a pair of scaups has also been hanging out at Sprague Pond.
Lesser or greater scaup?
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#49
Later that afternoon I went to the marsh, where several birds were very busy. Another example of marsh madness.

Male red-winged blackbird.
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Female bushtit.
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Spotted towhee.
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Female red-winged blackbird.
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Song sparrow.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#53
Sunday afternoon (4/9/17) a male Anna's hummer (Wesley?) was feeding on blossoms bordering the walkway just east of the #2 (main) viewing platform of the Edmonds marsh. I shot these handheld with the 7DII + 100-400L II @ 1/400 and f/8.0. The auto ISO was at 640 and 800. I like to shoot hummers at much faster shutter speeds to slow down their wings and much smaller aperture openings to get more of the surrounding foliage in focus. The dim light precluded that as it is best to avoid four and five digit ISO settings with the 7DII.

I had removed the 1.4x teleconverter as it slows down the auto focus and I was close enough not to need the extra reach. I had to take a few shots with the 100mm end of the zoom to locate the hummer.
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Once I had the hummer in my sights, I went to 400mm for the remaining shots.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#54
Two shore birds were at the marsh Tuesday (4-11-17). Last year's bad luck with shore birds at the marsh continued into 2017 with the bright sun creating glare and heats waves that made photography difficult. A birder who also saw the birds later told me that another birder told him that the larger bird was a greater yellowlegs and the smaller bird was a dowitcher of some sort.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#55
A common loon in breeding plumage was in the water below Sunset Ave. Thursday morning (4/13/17). I usually see one or two this time of year sad they are passing through the area.
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The brant continue to gather in large numbers to feast on eel grass.
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Look overhead for an eagle when they all fly up at once.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#56
Some Saturday (4/15/17) shots from the marsh.
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Not a great photo, but it shows the larva that birds look for when they dig into the cattail heads.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#57
Monday (4/17/17) at the marsh.

One great blue heron did not look like the others.
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I suspect it is a juvie.
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Comparison with an adult.
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Trying to get artsy with a male house finch.
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A song sparrow posing on the fence by the #1 viewing platform, where I have photographed Wesley many times.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#58
I tell birders and photographers on snipe hunts at the marsh that they are most likely seen when the water is just below the bottom of the plants that border the tidal "waterways." Tuesday (4/18) a snipe made a liar of me by coming out in the late afternoon after tide had gone out, exposing the bare mud.

Taken from the usual snipe hunting location off the #1 viewing platform with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC, tripod mounted.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#59
A goose is nesting in the marsh on an "island" off the #1 viewing platform. Dangerous territory given the predators in the area plus the possibility of flooding if we get 2-3 days of rain + a high tide.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#60
A goose has a nest in the marsh that is visible from the #1 viewing platform. When it is sitting on the nest, its mate can be seen by Willow Creek.

Female going back to the nest after taking a break.
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With tight cropping, the marsh can look like it is out in the wilderness.
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But wider cropping shows it is located in a developed urban area.
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