Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2018

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Back yard birding was very good Wednesday morning (10-24-18).

The "habitat trees" I created from two dying western hemlocks have been attracting woodpeckers, most recently a male and female pileated. They may be from Pine Ridge Park, which is at the end of my court.

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Female

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Male

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dexter II made several passes at the hummer feeder while I was photographing the woodpeckers. I was standing too close to the feeder for Dexter's comfort and he flew back to the rhododendrons.

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I moved away from the hummer feeders and Dexter returned to feed.

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Brown creeper, barely visible against the bark of my giant Doug fir.

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Update
While I was taking the above photographs this morning, I heard a large gathering of crows making a lot of noise in Pine Ridge Park at the south end of our court. My thought was that the crows had located one of the owls and were harassing it. I could not see anything through the thick trees.

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A few minutes ago while I was out on my back deck, I heard hooting coming from the same location.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
It goes without fail that the time I don't haul my 500L lens out to the fishing pier is the time I will see an interesting bird at a distance. Such was the case Tuesday morning (10-30-18) when a common murre was off the fishing pier and all I had with me was the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.

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On a positive note, I would not have gotten this shot of a lone dunlin flying past the pier with the big telephoto package.

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And I did not need the big telephoto package for this Bonaparte's gull which was swimming below the pier.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wednesday noon (10-31-18) I went to Sprague Pond at Mini Park in Lynnwood while my son was working out at the gym. A small flock of American wigeons was grazing on the far side of the pond as a coot swam past.

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A few were on the park side of the pond mixed in with mallards and a few Canada geese. Alas, no storm or Eurasion wigeons. The quest continues.

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A lone bufflehead (my first of the season) was swimming near a flock of ringed-neck ducks.

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A lone hooded merganser (also my first of the season) was swimming on the park side of the pond.

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A lone pied-billed grebe was swimming in the middle of the pond.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some birds in the middle of the pond suddenly flew off, so I began looking for an otter. I saw two swimming to the south half of the pond.

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After a few minutes both otters swam back to the north half of the pond.

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The birds on the shore near me pulled back from the bank, so I suspected one of the otters was very close.

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Sure enough, it surfaced about 12-15 feet from the bank. I wondered what I would do if it came up ashore, but it remained in the water.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Later that day I drove to the marsh. It is snipe season, but finding them in the usual spots has been very difficult due to this year's explosive growth of the foliage. I located my first of the season snipe by the waterway just east of the #2 viewing platform.

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A second snipe flew in and landed in a spot that was visible from the #2 platform.

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After a few minutes it took off, heading north. The first snipe stayed put while the water receded.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Photo notes: The really close shots were taken with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto lens + 2x III teleconverter. I continue to be very happy with the performance of my new/used Canon series III 2x teleconverter. I started the day at Mini Pond with the 7DII, but quickly switched to the 5DIII due to the low light and resulting high ISO settings, which the 5DIII (full frame sensor) handles much better than the 7DII (crop frame sensor).
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The winter visitors are slowly arriving. Thursday afternoon (11-1-18) I saw my first of the season red-necked grebe.

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The common murre was a little close to the fishing pier than when I saw it the previous day.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I had read reports on Tweeters of a lone greater white fronted goose spotted at the marsh amid a flock of Canada geese. Friday afternoon (11-2-18)
I decided to check out places in town where flocks of geese graze, starting with the Civic Center playfields. The area is being torn up to make a new park, but that hasn't discouraged the geese from coming.

A flock of cackling geese was hanging out with their larger cousins, the Canada geese. The size disparity between the two species is very apparent in these photos.

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A crow chased one of the cacklers for several minutes. I have no idea why it was doing so or why it picked this specific bird.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
There was a big pile of feathers at the south side of the marsh Friday afternoon. I am guessing a coyote nabbed a great blue heron. I think the herons are too big for an eagle to take down.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday (11-5-18) at Sprague Pond/Mini Park in Lynnwood.

A male hooded merganser (my first of the season) dove under water and caught something to eat.

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It swam over to a female, possibly the one I saw last week.

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Mixed flotilla of ring-necked ducks and mallards.

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Pied-bill grebe.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I thought I saw a sora at the marsh Tuesday evening (11-6-18) around sunset. The bird turned out to be a juvenile greater white-fronted goose.

Can you see it?

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Some help.

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There have been reports on Tweeters of a greater white-fronted goose among a flock of Canada geese at the marsh.
This bird was grazing by itself, which threw off my original ID.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sprague Pond at Mini Park in Lynnwood continues to be a good spot for waterfowl. Some photos from Wednesday (11-7-18) taken with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter, tripod mounted.

Pied-bill grebe

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Bufflehead

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American wigeons

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Hooded merganser (male)

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Hooded merganser (female)

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday afternoon (11-12-18) at the fishing pier.

You can take photos of a seal.

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And you can take photos of a gull.

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But how often can you take photos of a seal with a gull?

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A pair of hairy woodpeckers were hammering on one of my backyard "habitat trees" Tuesday morning (11-13-18).

Male

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Female

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They would make periodic visits to my suet feeder, located a few feet from the trees.

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My backyard habitat trees have been very successful in attracting woodpeckers, with four of our five local species paying visits. I have photographed flickers, red-breasted sapsuckers, pileated, and hairy woodpeckers pounding on the trees. Still to come are downy woodpeckers.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Later that afternoon I was at the marsh when a man asked me about red-winged blackbirds. I told him my theory that red-wings remain at the marsh all year long and just go into hiding during the fall and winter. As luck would have it, a small flock flew in shortly after the gentleman left to resume his walk.

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The flock flew over to one of the pine trees where I had photographed cross bills a few years ago. Like the cross bills, the blackbirds began pulling seeds out of the pine cones and eating them. I had never seen this behavior in red-winged blackbirds.

First year male

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Nice balancing act.
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Female

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Avian activity was practically nil at the marsh late Wednesday afternoon (11-14-18) except for some crows raising **** in the trees lining Willow Creek. Many times such activity by evil minions of the Dark Lord has indicated the presence of a predator such as a raptor. I scanned the trees but saw nothing. Then I waited and waited.

My patience eventually paid off when a red-tailed hawk flew from one tree to another. To the naked eye, the hawk appeared as a white dot in the dark green tree. I took these photos from the #2 viewing platform with the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 2x III teleconverter, tripod mounted. It was getting dark and ISO settings were very high.

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We usually have at least one red-tail spend the winter at the marsh. I hope this one will stay for awhile.
 
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