Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2017

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Bill Anderson

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The street under the nest of the Pt. Edwards eagles is becoming a game trail. I have failed to get photos of a Douglas' squirrel or Townsend's chipmunk I have seen run across the street several times. Likewise, I was not quick enough to get a photo of Friday's young coyote.

I did get a photo of Saturday's (6/17) deer herd.
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Bill Anderson

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Wednesday evening (6/21) I photographed at the marsh what I believe is a juvie Virginia rail. It was in the same location off the #1 viewing platform where I usually photograph snipes. Going back through my old photos, I think it is the first rail I have seen at the marsh in five years. I know they are out there, I have just never been able to spot them.

Taken with the 7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.
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I am a little conflicted with my ID, as the bill does not appear to be as long and thin as the bills of adult Virginia rails that I have seen in photos. On the other hand, it appears to be too long and too thin to be the bill of a sora. I can't think of any other birds it could be, so I'll stick with a juvie Virginia until I hear otherwise.
 
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Bill Anderson

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I have wondered what animal makes the paths through vegetation at the marsh. I found out Thursday evening (6/1) when I saw a small rabbit below the #1 viewing platform. I could not find references to any wild rabbit species native to our area, so I assume it is a descendant of a pet that escaped or was released.
A gentleman from Tucson, AZ saw the rabbit photos and sent me an e-mail with the following: I had no idea that Eastern Cottontails were not native to Washington at all (or most of the western states except Arizona, for that matter), and shouldn't even be there, but guess what...ya got 'em, anyway! LOL. They were introduced as game animals in various areas of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in the late 1920's/early 1930's.
 

Bill Anderson

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Friday afternoon (6/23) I saw a juvie Virginia rail once again at the marsh. It was foraging in the small, circular mud flat off the boardwalk about halfway between the #1 (far west) and #2 (main) viewing platforms.

This juvie may be one of the babies that were photographed by a friend earlier this year at the same location when they were just walking, fuzzy 8 balls.
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Although the bird was fairly close and I was using the 7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom + 1.4x TC, close crops are poor due to the heat waves radiating off the mud. I would classify the photos as ID shots.
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Bill Anderson

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There is a log tethered at the underwater dive park at Brackett's Landing where birds often perch. Friday afternoon the birds had to briefly share the log with a seal. The water was fairly rough and the seal did not stay for long.
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Bill Anderson

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Some shots from Tuesday (6-27-17) of the four green heron chicks at Sprague Pond in Lynnwood using the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC.
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An adult would periodically make a quick pass with food.
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Adult
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
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Last year volunteers installed nest boxes at the Edmonds marsh to attract tree swallows. The box off the #3 viewing platform appears to have at least two baby tree swallows in it. Taken Tuesday (6/27/17) with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4TC. The front of the box was shadowed. To see the birds I shot with positive exposure compensation, which over exposed the background.

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Two babies at the entrance.
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Bill Anderson

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I dropped by there again this morning while Daren was working out. This time it was two kingfishers that were putting on a show.
No great photos of the kingfishers, but two male goldfinches were hunting for seeds in thistles a few yards in front of me. It may have been the same two I saw the day before.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Later that afternoon I went down to the marsh to photograph the violet-green swallows flying in and out of the nest box off the #2 viewing platform. Once again I had to make some adjustments in my techniques due to the entry hole being in the shadow. This time I tried center point ("spot") metering instead of using exposure compensation settings like I did the day before.

I substituted the 7DII for the 5DIII to use with the 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC. The faster continuous shooting rate of the 7DII was necessary to get more than one or two photos of the swallows entering and leaving the nest box.
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The swallow did not leave the nest box carrying a dried up "poop pellet" this time, but other times it did.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
My Thursday (6-29-17) closeup shots of the baby green herons are not very different than Rocky's and Terry's, so I'll post up photos of an adult around the babies.

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You can almost hear the baby crying, "Come back! I want something to eat!"
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Bill Anderson

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That evening I went down to Brackett's Landing to take photos of trains, terns and the latest sunsets of the year (9:12pm, PDT).

One Caspian tern had an itch to scratch in mid-air.
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Bill Anderson

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Three small shorebirds were at the marsh Saturday morning (7/1). The usual problems with heat waves ensued while trying to take pictures. Early start to the fall migration?

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Can anyone ID them?
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
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Sandpipers have begun showing up at the Edmonds marsh. Lighting conditions were finally good enough Monday morning (7/3/17) for shots with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4TC. A group of local birders with binos and scopes ID'ed the sandpipers as a mixed flock of westerns and least, the most common sandpipers to visit the marsh. The flock contained about twenty birds.

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The birders also spotted a long-billed dowitcher, visible on the right side of this photo next to the water. They commented that the fall migration appears to be off to an early start this year.
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A pair of American goldfinches, our state bird, was feeding on cattail heads in front of the #2 (main) viewing platform.
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I don't know if they were eating the seeds or looking for the larvae that live in the heads.
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The ones that got away: a flock of bushtits was flying in and out of the trees and cattails, but I was not fast enough to get photos.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Violet-green swallows like to perch on the stand that used to hold the purple martin gourds.
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Grooming. They may be the same pair that has set up housekeeping in the near-by nest box.
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