Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2018

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#41
Friday afternoon (2-16-18) a male Anna's hummingbird kept perching on the twig of a blackberry bramble above the tracks by Sunset Ave. Since all of our local hummers must have names, Casey sounds logical for a hummer that is working on the railroad.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#42
There has been nothing of interest to photograph at the marsh except the resident great blue herons.
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A small flock of Harlequin ducks was resting on the tethered log at the underwater dive park at Brackett's Landing North.
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This female mallard at the small retention pond in Pine Ridge Park was showing off her blue patch, which was not visible in the other female mallards I saw.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#43
I took advantage of Thursday's (2-22-18) sunshine to get out and look for birds. To lead things off, Wesley did some fantastic posing at the marsh.

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The East LA band Los Lobos had a hit song, Kiko and the Lavender Moon. Here is Wesley and the Edmonds Moon.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#44
Wesley topped off his performance by landing about 10 feet from us on the hedge next to the boardwalk. He was so close that I had to back off on my telephoto zoom to get him in focus.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#45
I like to photograph ducks and geese flying past the leafless, winter foliage at the marsh.

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One of the sentinels of the marsh was moonlighting as a sentinel of the ferry dock.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#46
A small flock of red-breasted mergansers was diving for food adjacent to the jetty at Brackett's Landing North at sunset.

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There were two males in this group. I don't see as many males as I see females.
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This close-up shows the serrations on the bill of a male that look like teeth.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#47
You can usually depend on Wesley to put on a show when there is nothing going on at the marsh, as he did on a rainy Saturday afternoon (2-24-18).

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#48
I have a backlog of photos to post, but I wanted to get these up for the birders in the audience.

Wednesday (2-28-18) I saw a cackling goose at Sprague Pond at Mini Park in Lynnwood. I wonder if it was the same goose I photographed at this location on 9-27-17.
http://www.pnwphotos.com/forum/showthread.php?14796-Wildlife-of-Edmonds-WA-2017/page23

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The cackling goose is about 1/3 the size of a Canada goose and has a very short bill.

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Comparing the smaller cackling goose with a larger Canada goose. The cackler's bill looks as though it has been pruned.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#51
February has gone and its now time for March Marsh Madness. Things started off Saturday (3-3-18) with a visiting merlin, which perched on the tallest tree next to the boardwalk. It approached from the marina and stayed a few minutes before continuing east over the Harbor Square complex.

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I had to wait for photos until the wind blew the branch away from the merlin's head.
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It may have returned later in the day as I saw that looked like a merlin zip past me as I was talking to someone on the boardwalk. One of our local nature photographers told me that he had seen one earlier this year near the fishing pier.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#52
Later that afternoon three of us saw the resident juvie Cooper's (?) hawk perched on the swallow box west of the #1 viewing platform.
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After grooming itself for several minutes, it dived into the foliage east of the platform.
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We thought it might have captured a small bird like one of the marsh wrens I had heard calling from that area, but it came up empty-taloned and flew west towards the railroad tracks.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#54
They turned out to be hooded mergansers.
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I photographed the two pairs as they swam together up and back the small, dead-end channel off the #1 viewing platform.

male
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female
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I have only seen hoodies swim in Willow Creek at the south side of the marsh, never in the waterways at the north side where they can be easily photographed.
Stay tuned for more March Marsh Madness.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#55
If you check out the Edmonds Eagles 2018 thread, you will see that the first day of March was an all eagle day for me. I did; however, get photos of some of our winter visitors between eagle shots from the fishing pier.

Female red-breasted merganser. A small flock has been hanging out around Olympic Beach and Brackett's Landing North.
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Surf scoters are a winter visitor that hang around the fishing pier, where they wait for the tide to drop low enough to expose mussels that are embedded in the barnacles attached to the supports. Although I have lots of photos of surf scoters, they are hard to pass up because they are so photogenic, especially mature males. One must pay particular attention not to over-expose shots of the males on sunny winter days when the sun is coming in at a low angle and reflecting off their white feathers and bills.

Immature male
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Mature male
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Female
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A pelagic cormorant is starting to phase into breeding plumage, which will eventually include long white feathers on its head and neck.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#56
More March Marsh Madness
Although Monday (3-5-18) was overcast and chilly, these conditions made for better photos than the warm sunshine of two days prior.

A great blue caught a rodent(?), not the first time I have witnessed this behavior. The heron flew a short distance with the rodent in its bill, then ate it. The heron was too quick for me to get in position for a good shot.

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The heron had a full crop after devouring the rodent.
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Still to come: the further adventures of Fenimore, the resident juvenile Cooper's hawk.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#57
Fenimore, the juvie Cooper's hawk we have been photographing since last August, was busy Saturday making the rounds at the marsh. I first saw him when he flew up out of the grass near the boardwalk and perched on the old martin gourd stand. He was promptly buzzed by two evil minions of the Dark Lord.
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Next stop was the swallow box #3, located off the #3 viewing platform. A panoramic view with the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom.
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A closer view with the 7DII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x TC. The hawk took off towards the trees that line the marsh along the walkway.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#58
I looked to no avail for Fenimore on the ground and in the trees along the walkway between the #2 (main) and #3 viewing platforms. I returned to the #2 viewing platform only to find him perched on swallow box #2 opposite the platform.
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He stayed for a few minutes, then flew out to the #4 swallow box, which is the next one south of the #3 box.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#59
He did not stay at swallow box #4 for long before taking off to box #5, the box farthest south and nearest Willow Creek.
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Last stop was the sign at the #1 viewing platform, located at the west end of the boardwalk near the railroad tracks.. Swallow box #1, visible in the background, was the one where I had photographed him Saturday.
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From the sign he took off and landed on one of the telephone poles by the railroad tracks, then flew west toward the marina.
 
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Terry O

Active Member
#60
Amazing what those Herons can 'wolf' down! I like some of the cooper's shots - nice to have it be regular enough to be bestowed with a name!

Terry
 


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