Wildlife of Edmonds, WA. 2015

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I was at the #1 viewing platform of the marsh Monday (3/2) afternoon trying to take some flight photos of Wesley. I took a break and was looking south across the marsh when a bird flew in at an extremely fast glide from the direction of the marina. It was moving faster than anything I had seen before. It made a small splash in one of the shallow waterways with its feet or beak, then continued south.

I caught some lucky shots as it rose to clear the tree line by Willow Creek.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
A look at my photos on the computer revealed it was a peregrine falcon. I don't know if it was going after something when it dipped in the water as there appeared to be nothing in its talons. While the 5DIII may no longer have Canon's latest & greatest autofocus system, it still does a good job of tracking birds in flight.

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There have been recent sightings of a peregrine at the marsh this year including one of my own late last week.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I did get some flight shots of Wesley, the male Anna's hummingbird who guards the #1 viewing platform of the marsh. He likes to sit on the barb wire strands at the top of the fence, then fly over the walkway and up the side of the tree to hunt bugs.
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I positioned myself in his flight path to attempt shots of him flying towards me. Clearly a work in progress.
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After he flew over or around me, I turned around to get shots of him hunting bugs.
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He still does not like sharing the fence with his new neighbors, the song sparrows.
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Terry O

Active Member
Quote: "A look at my photos on the computer revealed it was a peregrine falcon. I don't know if it was going after something when it dipped in the water as there appeared to be nothing in its talons. While the 5DIII may no longer have Canon's latest & greatest autofocus system, it still does a good job of tracking birds in flight."[/COLOR]

It doesn't get much better than that, Bill! amazing shots!
 
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Terry O

Active Member
Brown Creeper at Yost Park today during a walk through with Bill Anderson, young Dave and Ettie.

Somehow I accidentally changed the camera from RAW to jpg - not sure how I did that :(. Canon 5Diii and 400mm f5.6L 1/1600s ISO 6400 (caused by accidentally bumping up the shutter speed from 1/1250s) - a bit noisy, but considering the high ISO, I'm not going to complain. I ran this through the Neat Image noise reduction program - no additional sharpening. A fairly significant crop, BTW.

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squirl033

Super Moderator
Staff member
nice creeper shot, Terry, even if it IS "just" JPEG! :D i need to visit Yost again one of these days and see what i can find...
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some shots from Thursday (3/5).

A song sparrow was perched in the tree behind the #2 viewing platform of the marsh. The tree has just started to bloom, which creates a nice background for bird photos. This condition won't last for very long.
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The rest of the photos were taken at Yost Park.
Pacific wren. Not bad for an ISO of 12,800.
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Ruby-crowned kinglet.
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Varied thrush. The ISO was 6000, but it appears softer (noisier) than the photo of the Pacific wren. Perhaps that is due to the lighter colors.
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I could not get as good an angle on the brown creeper as Terry did.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Friday morning (3/6) "My Little Chickadee" was posing next to the #4 viewing platform at the marsh. These are for Terry, who eschews bird feeder chickadee shots.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Monday (3/9) the sun did not break through the fog layer until mid afternoon, but it was a sunny afternoon afterward.

Wesley and the song sparrow continue their standoff on the fence behind the #1 viewing platform of the marsh.
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The Brant are gathering in Edmonds in preparation for their annual spring migration to the far northern nesting grounds. Afternoon low tides allow them to hunt for eel grass along the beach north of the underwater dive park at Brackett's Landing.

With their combination of contrasting dark gray/black and bright white feathers, Brant are difficult to photograph in the low afternoon sunlight. I needed to use exposure compensation while maintaining control of the shutter speed and aperature settings to avoid "blur" and depth of field issues. I accomplished this by taking these photos in M mode using set shutter, aperature, and ISO settings. I underexposed the shots 1/3 by adjusting the shutter and aperature settings.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I wound up the afternoon with a trip to the marsh. The tide gate is now open as evidenced by a difference in observed water levels between my morning and afternoon visits, even though there has been no recent rain.

By adhering to my policy of shooting first and asking questions later, I caught the peregrine falcon flying east over the far south side of the marsh towards City Park.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
The tidal gate to the marsh has been opened, which allows salt water from Puget Sound to flow into the marsh during high tide. The high water will bring in more birds.

Tuesday (3/10) I spotted three snipes in their usual location off the #1 viewing platform. I could only get two of them in one photo.
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Snipes look heavy and squat when they are hunkered down.
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They slim down when they stand up.
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This one flew away a split second after I took this photo.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some Wednesday (3/11) shots from the marsh.

Song sparrow off the #3 viewing platform.
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The small size of the green-wing teal shows up quite dramatically next to a gadwall.
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Wesley shows why he is the most photographed hummingbird in the PNW.
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This shot of geese flying over across the marsh can be titled Fifty Shades of Gray.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Nest building activities were abundant at the marsh Thursday (3/12) afternoon. These shots could be titled A Study in Sepia with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. No special photo effects were used. It's the brown season at the marsh and Mother Nature has provided its avian residents with perfect camouflage clothing.

marsh wren
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bushtits
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Bewick's wren
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An unknown bird(?) deposited cattail blades in the fork of a tree which borders the marsh. I'll keep an eye out for whatever may be building this nest.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thursday was Snipe-O-Rama at the marsh. The snipes are taking advantage of the opening of the tidal gate to look for food when the water level is up during high tide. We saw five snipes by the waterway just off the #1 viewing platform. Here are shots which may or may not include all five birds. It is hard enough to keep track of them while taking photos, and even harder when editing the shots at home later that night.

5DIII + 4.0/500L + 1.4x teleconverter, tripod mounted, cropped.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Examples of all three local cormorant species were swimming off the fishing pier.

Brandt's cormorant
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Double-crested cormorant
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Pelagic cormorant
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This pelagic cormorant is developing breeding plumage.
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Terry O

Active Member
Some great shots, Bill - especially some of those Snipe shots....good thing I wasn't there! :) I am now convinced I am jinxed!
 

Terry O

Active Member
3/11/2015 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

My one and only 'keeper' shot from yesterday - The Ruby-crowned Kinglets seem to be my only bird friends :( :)

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