I was talking to Leland yesterday and he mentioned having seen this thread and reminded me of a day we spent fishing a north Sound beach. He had fished up the beach around a point and out of sight. On his return he found me scuttling around the beach, camera in hand and talking to a couple of Black Oystercatchers. Bizarre behavior, true, but I did get a couple of good pictures.
I really enjoy all the variety of birds you see here in the NW. I can't tell you what a kick I get out of watching eagles and osprey catching fish out of the lakes.
I work in the Phantom Lake area of Bellevue. A while ago I noticed a hawk that is perched in the trees that line a field on my way to work. Now I look for it every day.
A few weeks ago while driving by the field I saw to pair of bald eagles circling overhead. I stopped on the side of the road and got out my cheapo binocs and watched them for a while. What magnificent creatures.
Another bird I've come to enjoy are the swallows and their acrobatic flying abilities. I seem to remember reading here that they are a good indicator of insect life when you're lake fishing.
Anyways, yes, birds are an unexpected and beautiful diversion.
any one ever get the sun at their backs, in the evening or morning, and wait for a hawk to pass in front of you so you can make squeaky noises? i have had some close calls where i think i ended up being more startled than the bird at the last second. its a great way to get a closer look at any bird of prey, and they usually hit the brakes and come looking for you every time.:thumb:
i had this eagle come down and take a good hard look at the guy hiding in the bushes making the squeaking noise, and then bank almost straight up the tree and land. its amazing how agile these guys are in the air.
Rarest for me has been a Snowy Owl & a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes . . . saw all of these on the Hanford Reach. Watched a couple Ravens one time in the fall after an early wet snow . . . grasshoppers had taken refuge in a pasture under cow pies. The Ravens would flip the pies over & gobble-up the sluggish hoppers . . . ate so many they could hardly fly. When I lived on Oyster Bay in Bremerton, Gulls & Crows would regularly catch clams at low tide, then swoop upwards over my concrete retaining wall & drop the clams to break the shell. Just finished watching a pair of Robins in the back yard dining on nightcrawlers . . . they seem to know my watering schedule . . .
The gray jay, more commonly known as the camp robber, can be a real nuisance. When I used to do a lot of backcountry skiing, a lunch break, even in the dead of winter, would usually draw anywhere up to a dozen of these hungry little thieves who, given the opportunity, would try to snatch food right out of your hand.
. . . so named for good reason. Like crows & magpies, they also have a fondness for shiny objects & have been known to spirit small items such as keys, brass shell casings, lures, etc off to their nest.
So, this weekend, the peregrines put on a real show for those of us lucky enough to be in the right spot. Day one, a peregrine picked off a smaller bird, possibly a RWBB, and took it back to the cliff area. This is typical of a mating pair, where the male (tercel) takes an offering back to the female (falcon) and they get pretty darn vocal with the "kekking". Second day, A small duck (bufflehead?) over the water. Hit the bird, took it to a rock wall just up from the water, repositioned the kill and flew off with it to the cliff. In both cases, it sounded like a jet while in the stoop. You actually heard the whoosh before you saw the bird.