Wildlife of Edmonds, WA.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
There were no unusual or exciting wildlife photo ops on Tuesday (2/19), but it seemed a shame not to share some photos taken on one of our rare, sunny winter days.

Double-crested cormorant off the fishing pier.
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When the light is just right and the water is calm, you can photograph the diving birds when they are underwater.
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I don't know my gulls, so I cannot identify this one for you.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Zombie-eyed horned grebe.
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I didn't know someone had hung up a hummingbird feeder at the fish hatchery and I nearly backed up into two Anna's which were feeding at it. One flew off, but the other (I believe a female) remained and allowed me to get fairly close.
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The eagle returning to her nest.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'll submit for your viewing just five shots from a not particularly exciting, overcast, and gloomy Wednesday (2/20). In other words, just another fall/winter/spring/summer day up here in my corner of the PNW.

Horned grebe. With its red eyes, it fits right in with the current zombie craze on television.
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Pelagic cormorant enjoying a shrimp lunch by the fishing pier.
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I think this is a juvie rhinoceros auklet, which was below the fishing pier.
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Harbor seal frolicking off the fishing pier.
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Wesley guarding the #1 viewing platform of the marsh in the rain.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'll submit for your viewing just five shots from a not particularly exciting, overcast, and gloomy Wednesday (2/20). In other words, just another fall/winter/spring/summer day up here in my corner of the PNW.
For those of you who are not from this area, let me review the four seasons of the Puget Sound Region of the PNW:

Labor Day --> Thanksgiving = Autumn

Thanksgiving --> New Year's Day = Holiday season

January 2nd --> Junuary 30th = Rainy season

Summer = Four randomly scattered days between Junuary 30th and Labor Day.

Without a calendar, the only way you can tell the seasons is to look at a tree.

Yellow/red leaves = Autumn

No leaves = Holiday or Rainy season.

Light green leaves = Late Rainy season.

Dark green leaves = one of our four days of summer.

;):rolleyes::D

Why do I remain up here? Because in my 60+ years, it is the only place I have lived where I can enjoy the summer. I have lived in the following hot and/or humid places (in order) in the USA:

Sikeston, Missouri (pronounced Misery)

Lewiston, Idaho

Sacramento, California

Phoenix, Arizona

Chicagoland, IL

In all fairness I should say that the Chicago area was not bad, as during Labor Day weekend the weather switched like clockwork from summer to Autumn as though some one had flipped a switch. I enjoyed my four years living in the Chicago suburb of Naperville,IL. If forced to live in a major US megapolis, I would choose the Chicago area although the Seattle area (contrary to the views of our local politicians) is rapidly heading down that road.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
From Thursday (2/21).

When you see a flock of goldeneye flying furiously over Puget Sound. 7D + 100-400L zoom
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A bald eagle may not be far behind.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
On Friday (2/22) the eagle was probably getting sea sick as the wind was really rocking the tree holding her nest.

I started taking photos with my 5D Mk III + 100-400L zoom. She took off as I was debating whether or not to pull out my tripod and set up my 2.8/400L + 2x teleconverter.
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An evil minion of the Dark Lord, visible in the upper right corner, flew out to greet her.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
After photographing the eagle, I returned home and cleaned out one of my backyard bird feeders.

After hanging up the clean and replenished feeder, I stuck around and took some photos of my backyard birds.

Bewick's wren.
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Chestnut-backed chickadee.
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Prior to cleaning the feeder, I emptied its remaining contents on the ground. I need never worry about bird seed attracting rats after it has dropped out of the feeders, as there are always plenty of "bottom feeders" ready to scoop it up.

Eastern gray squirrel, aka invasive bushy-tailed tree rat.
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Dark-eyed junco.
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arlinescott

Super Moderator
Staff member
We live in such a wonderous place... So much to see and do without even having to leave home. Nice shots. I especially like that the Bushy Tailed Tree Rat "smiled" for his portrait and that the last little bird has antenna.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Bird-wise, Saturday (2/23) turned out to be a dud as only the usual suspects showed up at the waterfront and my backyard bird feeders.

Wesley, the Anna's hummer who guards the west (#1) viewing platform of the marsh, saved the day with a photogenic pose.

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Christine

New Member
The hummers are one of my favorate birds.. i had a few at the feeders a couple of weeks ago, now i dont.. :( dont know where they went to...
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
We go from the smallest bird in the Edmonds Birdmuda Triangle to the largest. Sunday (2/24) afternoon I caught one of the eagles taking off twice from the nest. Here are five shots from the series I took of the second departure. Judging from the flights in and out of the nest, I don't think there are any eggs yet.

7D + 2.8/400L + 2x teleconverter mounted on a tripod
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In the future I am going to use the 5D Mk III + 2.8/400L + 2x teleconverter mounted on the tripod for the nest shots. The 5D Mk III handles high ISO settings better than the 7D and I don't need the effective greater reach of the 7D with its cropped frame sensor. The 7D + 100-400L zoom can hang around my neck for overhead and walkaround shots.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
When you have taken photos nearly daily at the same locations for the past four years, you notice changes. For instance, marsh wrens used to be the prominent small bird around the central and western portions of the marsh near the walkway and viewing platforms #1 and #2. Last year they moved to the east end of the marsh and song sparrows took over their old domain.

Most times I forego photographing the song sparrows as they are so common and not the least bit shy. Monday (2/25) several song sparrows were out calling to each other and I decided to reward their efforts with some photos. According to an article I read, they are highly territorial and the calls serve as a warning for others of their species to leave.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tuesday (2/26) morning one of the local juvenile bald eagles cruised over the Sound, then headed inland over town.

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JaniceL

Super Moderator
Staff member
Beautiful eagle. She deserves a thread of her own. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful photos.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank-you, Janice. I am out shooting in and around Edmonds on a daily basis. I thought it best to post my photos to a single thread which I can update. I don't want to spam the wildlife forum with a new thread every day, as that would eventually knock other peoples' threads off page one.

I'll be down your way this weekend for my mother's 86th birthday. If I visit Ridgefield and Nisqually NWRs as planned, I'll post separate threads for those photos.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
There is a large puddle on the road of the old Unocal grounds below the Pt. Edwards walkway where the Pt. Edwards eagles wash themselves. Over the past two-three years I have attempted to take photos of them bathing there. Once on the ground they are very skittish and fly away as soon as they see me.

Wednesday (2/27) Terry and I were walking the Pt. Edwards walkway when Terry noticed an eagle in the puddle. We carefully crawled in the grass and took photos of it bathing. The eagle would carefully look around before immersing its head in the water, followed by the rest of its body. It would shake its wings vigorously, then stand still and look around for several minutes.

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This pattern was repeated for about twenty minutes before the eagle took off.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I suspect the eagle flew to one of its regular perches where I have seen them spread their wings downward to drip dry in the sun.

Note the eagle's shadow on the road below it.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I went down to the marsh and marina later in the afternoon after our usual gloom & doom had returned. This resulted in insanely high ISO settings even when shooting as slow as 1/500.

I just missed getting a good shot of the ruby crowned kinglet's vivid ruby crown. The shot before this showed a lot of the ruby crown, but it was slightly out of focus.
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A Bewick's wren impersonating its cousin the marsh wren.
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A great blue heron coming at me across the marsh.
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A gaggle of grebes floated by the fishing pier.
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While some may describe our winters as colorless, I believe that gray is a color.
 
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