Tag Archives: birds

Birds of All Varieties So Let’s Combine Them

I have put together posts for various animals that we saw during our trip to Kenya and Tanzania.  We also saw lots of birds.  Most of them I had no idea what they were, but our guides did a great job of telling us what we were seeing.  Whether I can remember them all now, is a different story.  Fortunately, I think I keyworded them shortly after we returned so I do have a chance.  Rather than talk about the various different bird, here is a compilation of images of some of the ones we saw during our time away.

Afternoon Sun on the Ducks at Juanita

It has been a long time since I was at Juanita Bay.  A combination of lack of time and lack of nice weather has stopped me going down there.  One afternoon after work, the sun was out, and the time was not too late, so I dropped down there for a walk around to see what was going on.  The answer was not a great deal.  It was a lovely afternoon but none of the more crowd friendly visitors were around.  The ducks were, though.  A merganser stayed too far away to be photographed by there were plenty of wood ducks and green winged teals, so I made do with them.  The low sun angle picked up the colors really nicely.

Eagles and Ospreys Over Kenmore

Trips to Log Boom Park are usually to see the floatplane activities from Kenmore Air’s base but it also gives the potential for some other airborne photo subjects.  On one trip a short while ago, the conditions were a little harsh with strong lighting from overhead, but the local fauna was helping out.  Getting eagles there is not too unusual but the warmer weather does mean the possibility of ospreys showing up and they did oblige.  No close action as they were fishing but they did get some food from the water and even occasionally managed to fly our way while carrying their successes.

Swans On The Move

As we headed down one of the roads in Skagit County on the lookout for the owls, we came to a field that was full of swans.  I’m not sure what was interesting them but there seemed to be a steady stream of them taking off and heading south of where we were.  A few of them took off directly towards us.  The head on view of them getting airborne was really cool.  Of course, as soon as I had the camera ready, they were taking off from other locations and not coming towards me.

I was still getting some shots of them as they gained speed if not much altitude.  The great thing was that they were keeping it low and building speed before they gradually climbed away.  As they crossed the road, they could still be pretty low.  I figured a little patience would work in my favor and, sure enough, it wasn’t too long before some of them were taking off towards me.  They clearly weren’t coming directly over me as I guess we were enough of a distraction.  However, they were coming head on for a while.  I missed quite a few shots unfortunately but you only get to see the ones that worked out!

Juanita Bay Birds

Ducks don’t make for the most exciting photographic subjects but, when you are testing out a new camera, everything is fair game.  The eagles had been flying around Juanita Bay but they had been keeping their distance from us.  A whole host of coots had been near the shore just tempting the eagles to come hunting but they hadn’t bothered.  Consequently, I photographed the coots and the ducks instead.

Waterfront Birds

Walking along the shore at Edmonds, a few birds were flying around near me.  I did get a cormorant which is good and, while I don’t know many birds, I think some of these might be mergansers.  Anyone into their birds that can confirm or deny?

How To Spook Geese

I was riding along the Sammammish River Trail back in to Woodinville one weekend when the noise of geese suddenly filled the air.  On the other side of the river from the trail are fields which often are filled with geese feeding.  A large flock was gathered there on this day but their grazing had been interrupted by the arrival of a bald eagle.  It flew across the area and barely changed course as it did so but it certainly startled the geese and they all took to the air.

They flew around in circles for a while waiting for the eagle to get safely out of the area.  Then they gradually calmed down and more and more of them settled back in to the fields to resume eating.  However, this was a slow process as they had clearly been spooked and weren’t going to relax easily.  This was all starting as I cycled up but I did manage to pull my phone out and get a bit of video of this happening so here is the brief burst of excitement before things settled down again.

Trumpeter Swans on Fir Island

The snow geese are a famous visitor to the Skagit area of Washington but they aren’t the only big birds to show up.  Trumpeter swans are also a regular visitor and they are even larger.  They don’t have the same social gathering approach as the geese so you won’t see them in their thousands.  However, they do sometimes travel in smaller groups.

I was driving out towards Fir Island when I passed a bunch of them in a field.  They were right next to a church which made for a convenient place to park without being in anyone’s way.  They were not far from the parking lot and seemed to be busy feeding.  Some immature examples were still showing their grey plumage but were well grown at this point.  A little dispute resulted in some noise and flapping of wings but it all settled down quickly when the important matter of eating took over.

Family of Swans

A small bay on Cascades Lake was a spot that a family of swans was hanging out as we hiked by.  The cygnets were almost fully grown but still had the darker down to show that they were still not fully mature.  The parents were still clearly paying attention to the safety of their kids, despite their size.

Airport Birds

The viewing deck at Haneda is not a place I had gone to photograph wildlife.  However, despite the usual concerns about birds and planes not mixing well, there were a lot of small birds that seemed to be hanging out on the roof of the terminal buildings.  I imagine the number of visitors to the viewing decks means there will be crumbs of some sort for them to feed on.  They were pretty close to the people but just the other side of the fencing.  I guess they knew they were safe.