Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2018

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#61
March Marsh Madness 3-6-18
I went down to the marsh Tuesday morning while my son was bowling. The sun shining in from the southeast created lighting conditions that differ from my usual afternoon visits. I was told that the tide gate is not raised until March 15th, but the fluctuation of water levels I have seen make it look though it was raised around the first of the month

I did not see Fenimore perched on the #1 viewing platform, but I caught him as he flew out to the #4 swallow box.
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Back lighting created some artsy effects.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#62
The back lighting continued to create artsy effects as geese flew past.

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Two geese flew past Fenimore perched on the swallow box.....

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and landed where Shellenbarger Creek flows into the marsh.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#63
A flock of bushtits flew among the bushes, trees and cattails. They are the second smallest bird at the marsh, one size up from a hummer.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#64
Speaking of hummers, Wesley put on a good show in the tree above the #2 viewing platform.

Cleaning his bill.
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Stretching.

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Mooning me.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#65
Friday afternoon (3-9-18) I photographed some little birds along the walkway between the #3 and #4 viewing platforms at the marsh.

Junco
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Golden-crowned sparrow
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Bushtit
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#68
It appears that reports of the demise of Katy the Kingfisher, guardian of the marina and official mascot of the Puget Sound Bird Fest, may be premature. Saturday afternoon (3-10-18) I found a female belted kingfisher sitting on one of Katy's favorite perches on a mast opposite the fishing pier.
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Is Katy a jailbird?
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No, she flew over to the grating of a tidal outlet on the north wall of the marina off the walkway out to the fishing pier.
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She stayed a few minutes.
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Then took off.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#69
Katy flew off and no one could figure out where she went. I knew exactly where she was: perched under the walkway on a spot only visible from the picnic table opposite the ranger shack.
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Ignoring the No Trespassing sign and Edmonds city ordinance 5.10.085, she landed atop the chain link fence a few feet from the picnic table.
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Then off to the concrete breakwater opposite the walkway out to the fishing pier.
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I last saw her as she dove down off the breakwater.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#70
The pilings off the Senior Center between the marina and ferry dock are a favorite place for cormorants to perch and sun themselves.
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It is also a favorite perch of the Pt. Edwards eagles.
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Discretion being the better part of valor, the cormorants beat a hasty retreat upon the arrival of the eagle and made due with forming a flotilla near the ferry.
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Continued....
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#71
New arrivals flying in past the fishing pier, unaware of the change in pecking order on the piling, would do a u-turn or land in the water after spotting the eagle. Either way, it gave me the opportunity for some action photos of what I call "dragon birds" due to their scaly looking feathers and the shape of their heads.

Back lighting can be artsy.
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My ideal photo of a double-crested cormorant is one that captures their scale-like feathers and blue-green eyes.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#72
More bird photos from Saturday.

Two evil minions of the Dark Lord plot their conquest of Earth and subjugation of Mankind from a tree in the Olympic Beach parking lot at the waterfront.
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A pied-billed grebe transitioning into breeding plumage was inside the marina.
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Brant continue to graze on eel grass below Sunset Ave. They commute between here and Marina Beach, which presents opportunities for flight shots off the fishing pier at the marina and the jetty at Brackett's Landing North.
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Marsh wrens are getting into the spirit of March Marsh Madness. For now they are staying hidden in the cattails and bull rushes, but later they will be singing from the tops of cattails and fence posts for easier spotting.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#73
There are now two barred owls in Pine Ridge Park. I ran into several of the photog regulars Sunday afternoon (3-11-18) as we tracked the owls. I only saw one of the pair, but we heard both of them calling to one another.

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The owl had no problems with our presence as it hunted. Someone reported it caught a large rodent after I returned to my pickup.
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No cropping: full frame, wingtip-to-wingtip as the owl zipped past me.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#76
Nice shots, Bill! I think that's Aurora, as Janine calls her. The other may be her new mate...
Both J-nine and G-nine, as I now call them, were in the park photographing the owl when Daren and I arrived. Janine showed me shots that LeRoy, another local photographer, had taken that morning of the two owls preening each other.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#77
Great to see the barred owls, Bill! Nice work! What was the ISO? I assume you were using your 7D2
Terry
I was using my "walk & stalk" package of the 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto lens, handheld. Settings were 1/500, f/5.6, auto ISO @ 51200. I try to plan ahead and not use the 7DII for what I know will be low light situations.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#78
Cooper's vs Sharpie
The Cooper's hawk and the sharp-shinned hawk have very similar appearances. Although the Cooper's is larger than the sharpie, there is a size overlap between a female sharpie and a male Cooper's. The Cornell Institute of Ornithology website has a very good feature for comparing similar looking birds. I was able to get side-by-side photos of a juvie Cooper's and a juvie sharpie by hitting the arrows beside each photo until two photos of juvies appeared side by side. I still think Fenimore is a Cooper's hawk by his appearance and his behavior.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Coopers_Hawk/species-compare/70780511
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#79
Monday afternoon (3-12-18) I dropped by Pine Ridge Park to look for the owls. They were not in the trees along the main path, so I walked to the large pond/small lake. Several birds were out in the pond including northern shovelers and a solitary pied-billed grebe. I wish I had lugged the 500L telephoto with me.

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A pair of ringed-neck ducks swam close by.

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The owl was sleeping on a branch on a hillside. I settled for a distant artsy, back-lit shot so as not to wake it.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#80
Here are four photos of the owl from Sunday that I lightened and tweaked a bit using the Windows photo processing program. You can compare them with the original above and see which ones you prefer.

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