Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2018

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Saturday evening (9-1-18) at the marsh near sunset.

This summer a few great herons have been hanging out in the trees by the walkway between the #2 and #3 viewing platforms. It is the first time I have seen this behavior. I wonder if they will try to establish a rookery here next spring to replace the one that used to be at the southeast corner of the marsh.

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The juvie Cooper's hawk continues to hunt in the marsh. It uses man made structures to scout the area for prey.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Labor Day weekend is when I start looking for our winter avian residents to arrive. I caught groups of cormorants flying in different directions off Sunset Ave.

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A small group of bushtits was at the marsh. I was lucky to get a photo of one.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The weather is turning autumn-like and ducks have been flying south over Puget Sound.

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Many are landing at the marsh during the evening's high tide, such as Monday night (9-10-18).
So far I have only seen mallards, but the winter visitors will be arriving soon.

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Some of the males have been molting and are very raggedy looking.

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Others still look like real male mallards.

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Canada geese are enjoying the high water as well. This may be the local flock that resides in Edmonds year round.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The attractive Herrmann's gulls will start migrating south in October.

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September is the time to look for parasitic jaegers around the dive park in Edmonds. I thought I saw one Monday (9-10-18) afternoon, but it just turned out to be a gull chasing a Herrmann's gull.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Saturday afternoon (9-15-18) I made a quick stop at the marsh during Bird Fest and noticed a lone great blue heron bedded down

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I returned Sunday to see the heron in the same spot. I used my super telephoto setup to get some closeups.

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Another heron posed for me at the marina near sunset.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Last Saturday was the first day of autumn and both the birds and foliage are getting an autumn look. Some shots from Monday (9-24-18).

There is a plant beneath the Pt. Edwards eagle tree with berries the cedar waxwings love to eat.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tuesday afternoon (9/25/18) Wesley or his successor made a cameo appearance at the marsh.

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As did a western scrub jay.

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I was surprised to see Caspian terns north of Sunset Ave. I thought all of them would have flown south by now.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have been surprised to see osprey and Caspian terns still in the area. These birds spend winter in sunnier and warmer climes. Wednesday afternoon (9-26-18) I caught one of the adults from the Edmonds School District bus barn nest diving for fish at Sprague Pond in Lynnwood.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some birds from Thursday (9-27-18).

A northern flicker on one of two "habitat" trees in my back yard.

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A black-capped chickadee at the marsh.

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A few Caspian tern are still in the area. This one was hunting for fish off Sunset Ave.

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I ran into a friend who was birding Pine Ridge Park while I was there. We saw several male wood ducks at the large pond, but no females. Close up of a male in the shade.

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We got a quick glimpse of this bird and I got a grab shot. He subsequently ID-ed it as a Swainson's thrush from my photo.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
More shots of the wood duck as it swam out into the sunlight. Farther away, but sunnier. The pond dried up this summer for the second year in a row.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sunday (9-30-18) a female pileated woodpecker was pounding away at one of the habitat trees in my backyard. It probably came from Pine Ridge Park, which is at the end of our court.

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It closed its eyes to avoid large flying chunks of wood.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
It is easy to overlook the great blue herons as they are year round inhabitants of the marsh, marina, and beaches along the Edmonds waterfront. Tuesday afternoon (10-2-18) I took a series of photos of one landing at the marsh, which had become Lake Edmonds due to a very high tide.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A flock of geese flew up from the pond on the other side of Willow Creek and headed north.

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A few remained.

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They returned later just after sunset.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thursday afternoon (10-4-18) I ran into a local birder at the marsh who spotted a raptor fly up to a tree on the far side of the marsh. A closer examination with her spotting scope showed it to be a member of the falcon family.

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We later concluded it was a merlin based on its size and behavior. It exhibited the behavior of merlins I have photographed in the past hunting dragonflies in the marsh. The merlin will alternate perching on a high spot with making low, swift swoops over the cattails.

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Continued...
 
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