Sunday, March 29, 2009

A beautiful Sunday!

I went to the cemetery to see if I could see any Bald Eagles around. The Olympic Game Farm is right next to the cemetery and in that area there are often a few eagles perched in the trees.
I was not disappointed - except for the distance between them and me.
You can click on the photos for enlarged views ~~~

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sea gulls on the Strait

Today was the day to be at the Dungeness Spit! As you have probably found out, I love the water and I like to go there any time I can get away - whether it is Port Williams, the Spit, the west coast beaches or Long Beach, Wa - they are all wonderful places to walk, relax and refresh the body, soul and spirit

I took my camera and just kept shooting away :)

I am not a sea gull fan by any means and I'm not sure what kind of gull this is - my bird book and photos don't match! Even though I don't care for the bird, that was the bird on site today, and I was delighted to practice getting some 'flight' photos. This is a scary venture, however, because it is making me increasingly unsatisfied with my little camera ! ! ! But, OH THE THRILL of catching a bird in flight! ! !

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


March Morning Mountains
When I awoke this morning, the first thing I saw was the moon in its 3rd phase. It was shining in my window and its light was reflecting off of a few clouds that were close by.
It was so beautiful, I stood in awe.
Later in the morning, it just kept getting better! The sun on the snow on the mountains was shining so brightly! Absolutely gorgeous!

March Mourning Doves

Later in the afternoon, I had two unusual visitors. A beautiful pair of Mourning Doves came into the yard and stayed a while. I only got one photo before they flew into the next yard - but, I can hear them, even now. Such a contrast from yesterday!

** If you'd like an enlarged view of the photos, just click them :) **

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Deadly Beauty

This is a Northern Shrike. I did not take this photo.

A few months ago, one of these birds visited my feeders. When my daughter and I noticed it, our attention was grabbed because of its size and unusual coloring. Its not like any bird I've seen and it made a 'striking presence' on the tray feeder. I remembered its beak - I remember mentioning it to people because it was so hefty. Before I could get my camera in hand, it flew off and we never saw it again.
Until yesterday... while I was out. My daughter reported that the bird had returned but she didn't have a very good impression of it this time.
Apparently, one of the little pine siskins flew into the window - yes, even with decals! It was stunned and landed on the window sill. She said that she was going to open the window to see if the little bird was ok, when all of a sudden this bird, the Northern Shrike flew in and GRABBED THE LITTLE BIRD AND FLEW OFF WITH IT IN ITS BEAK! ! !
'Striking presence'? I should say so! I decided to look this bird up with more effort this time and what I found was very sad news for birders. I know that nature has its ways and all that, but this bird is not one you want hanging around your feeders! It doesn't have talons, so to kill its prey, it strikes a little bird hard with its powerful beak! The Shrike eats little birds. It will carry one off in its beak and if it doesn't want to eat it right then, it will impale it on thorns or barbed wire.
It seems that it is only in this area during the non-breeding season, and from what I can find out, it is not real common here - for which I am very thankful!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sweet Surprise

This morning I woke up with a heart full of wonder and joy. Several hours of good sleep help, I'm sure, and the March morning sun is glorious! I am dancing inside, smiling on the outside - and all that before coffee ! ! !
As I was messing around in my kitchen, I looked out at the feeding station - which is a common habit I've developed. There has not been much going on - nothing new to report. But, this morning, in my happy frame of mind, I couldn't believe what I saw!
I've posted quite a few months ago about a Varied Thrush that had come to visit once in a while. It was so much fun to see him show up randomly because, apparently, they are rare. Unfortunately, one day he met his demise with my window - AFTER I had put up decals! ! ! I was very sad that day. I didn't think I would see any more here.
Well, in the midst of my happy morning, and in the midst of days and days and days of pine siskins, another Varied Thrush came to visit and the thrill to see him surprised me too! I was beginning to wonder if the joy of birding had somehow gotten buried with all the snow. There hasn't been much going on from day to day for a long time, and I thought I was getting used to birds - how sad that would be! But, this morning, I discovered that is not true :) and I am very happy to post these photos of the New Spring Varied Thrush!
(I hope there are special surprises for each of you today - whether birds or otherwise!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sun Swans and Symphony

The March Sun can be so enchanting! Today it was beautiful giving us a near 60 degrees temperature! Every living cell seems to reach for more singing at forte* strength -
"Give me more warmth, more light, more life!"
and the antiphonal chorus in pianissimo* -
"How sweet, how rich, how lovely..."

In the late afternoon, the air felt like warm milk. There was no chill, no movement, no contrast of any kind - just balmy, smooth, delicious warm air.
That's what I walked into when I saw the Trumpeter Swans had returned to the field across the road from our house. As I walked all the way through the field, my senses were alive and taking in every detail of sight, sound, feeling. It was one of those experiences I wished wouldn't have to end, making me think that I could walk forever and ever and ever - andante*.
The swans must have been feeling the same as I. They didn't seem disturbed by my presence. I ventured as close as I could, watching their heads come up one by one. They called to each other sounding like the brass section of the orchestra tuning up for the big performance. Oh the indescribable feeling of being so close to such magnificent birds!
I got some shots, but I was so wrapped up in the whole experience, I barely remembered I even had the camera! At one point, a few of them lifted up into the air, and oh, the sound of their feathers pushing against that warm sweet air. I wondered if they felt it like I did.
There are some moments that are unforgettable. Today it was the March Sun, the Trumpeter Swans, the evening, the air. Everything in Time and Space coalesce to create the perfect symphonic experience; which experience, neither Time nor Space can themselves erase.

forte* - loud and strong
pianissimo* - very softly
andante* - moderately slow and even