Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2015

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Bill Anderson

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Staff member
Friday (9/18) afternoon my son and I ran into two of our birder friends at the fishing pier. They had just come from Brackett's Landing and said that four common terns were perched on floats out in the underwater dive park. The common tern is a "lifer" for me, so Daren and I drove over to the park. The terns were far out on the water, so I attached the 2x teleconverter to my 5DIII + 500L telephoto.

The first set of photos shows one tern chasing another one off a float. The terns are in transition from breeding (solid black head/orange bill & legs) to non-breeding (partially black head/black bill & legs) plumage.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The second set of photos shows one tern who refused to give up its float when challenged by another one.
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No success on the second pass, either.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I didn't take any bird photos over weekend, so here are some from last week.

Thursday (9/17) a young flicker was drying off on my back fence.
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This may be the same bird I caught resting n the roof of my shed the following day.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Not much avian action is occurring until the winter migrants arrive, but Saturday (9/26) some critters were providing entertainment in my back yard.

Along with me, this Douglas's squirrel watched the action below him.
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His buddy had a close encounter with an eastern gray squirrel.
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A Steller's jay joined the party.
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All three were scurrying around the base of my Doug fir looking for seeds that I had tossed out for the birds.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sunday morning (9/27) my son and I went to Haines Wharf park in Edmonds to look for a slaty-backed gull which had been reported roosting on the roof of the dilapidated marina. Gulls are not my forte and I had no idea what a slaty-backed gull looks like, but I would photograph any bird that looked unusual. The slaty-backed is not even in my Washington state bird book. I looked it up in my Sibley's when I returned home up and realized I probably would not have recognized one had I seen it.

I was using the 7DII + 500L telephoto + 2x teleconverter mounted on a tripod for maximum (1600mm equivalent) reach. With this set up I (barely) picked up a flotilla of about twenty western grebe floating waaaaaaaay out in the Sound. Trust me when I say that all of the white dots are western grebes in the following Sasquatch shots.
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Many Herrmann's gulls were perched on the roof of the dilapidated marina. The ones with white heads are transitioning into breeding plumage.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Closer to home (actually at home), here are some backyard birds I photographed later that day.

Black-capped chickadee.
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One of my favorites is the red-breasted nuthatch.
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This one was hammering the roof of my storage shed so loudly that it sounded like a woodpecker.
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Note the breast is over exposed.
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I used negative exposure compensation to tone it down.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
There are at least three Douglas's squirrels living an uneasy truce with the eastern grays in my backyard Doug firs. While the eastern grays are unapologetic natural beggars, it is taking the Douglas's a while to learn that the guy on the back deck may signal a meal.
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I had to use positive exposure compensation due to the backlighting.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tuesday (9/29) a northern harrier paid a visit to the marsh. I usually see a harrier visiting the marsh about once a year, the last one was on 11-1-14.

Like the harrier, the hardhat has been making the rounds of the marsh during high tide.
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After making a few passes over the marsh including an unsuccessful dive at a duck or killdeer, the harrier headed northwest toward the ferry dock.
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During the winter northern harriers are commonly seen patrolling open fields in western Washington. The ones I have seen at the marsh over the years are just passing through town. I suspect the marsh is too small and under water too often to support a visiting harrier all winter. Constant harassment by our local evil minions of the Dark Lord would be too much for them as well.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Here are some photos of a wood duck I took on 9-24 at Mini Park (Sprague Pond) in Lynnwood. I believe the duck is an immature male. While most wood ducks are usually shy, this one is not; I suspect due to its hanging out with mallards.
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The wood duck is considerably smaller than the mallards.
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I once read that wood ducks are the only ducks with claws on their feet. This one's claws did not appear to be much different than those of the mallards.
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