Tag Archives: Juanita Bay park

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.

Strange Little Isolated Tree

Sometimes you just don’t have the right gear with you.  I had gone to Juanita Bay after work and was only carrying one camera with the 500mm on it.  Looking down in to the water to one side of me, I was quite taken by a stump in the water that had a new growth of a small tree coming from the top of it.  It was too far away to get a decent shot with the phone so the 500mm was the only option.  I took a sequence of shots to stitch together later on.  I quite like the separation that you get with using such a long lens for a shot like this.  I wonder how large the tree will ultimately grow to be given the limitations of its home!

Coots are Freaking Out

It has been a while since I was down at Juanita Bay.  During the summer, the light is harsh, the heat haze is tough, and the humidity is uncomfortable.  I also sometimes find myself getting bitten by stuff.  However, a pleasant fall afternoon after work seemed like a good time to head down and see what was going on.  Things were not too active, but it was nice to relax in the sun as the wildlife did its thing.  Sure, an eagle did fly over at one point, but it seemed more interesting in annoying the other birds than actually hunting.

There were tons of coots on the water.  They were grouped together with lots of preening and bathing going on along with the regular feeding.  At some point, something happened to spook them, though.  I don’t know whether there was really anything there or not.  I wondered if an otter was under the water, but I never saw any sign of one.  Whatever happened, the coots all seemed to get upset and they took off in bunches to go to another part of the bay.  Some of them came very close to me so I got them “running” across the surface of the water to find somewhere they felt more relaxed.

Water Lilies

I haven’t been to Juanita Bay Park much recently.  The middle of summer is not a great time to go because the sun is high, the humidity is quite uncomfortable, the bugs can be in a bitey mood, haze makes photos even worse than the sun angles – you get the picture.  I did head down one afternoon after work, though, just to see what was happening.  The lake was covered in water lilies with the pads spread out in all directions.  The flowers were not quite so common but there were still plenty.  I was taken by how they were dominating a space that is normally wide open.

Deer Foraging in Juanita Bay Park

Much of the wildlife I end up photographing in Juanita Bay Park is the birds or the aquatic life.  However, I do occasionally come across some other creatures as I stroll through and one afternoon it was some deer.  I have seen deer in the park before.  They tend to stay away from the more heavily trafficked areas, but they do cross the paths when getting from one spot to another.  That was what happened in this instance.  They jumped out of the bushes ahead of where I was heading and across to more foliage.  I thought they would be gone but they stopped and munched on some of the leaves for a while.  Not clearly in sight but not avoiding me either!

Turtles Are Back and Stacked Up

The arrival of warmer weather encourages the turtles to show themselves in Juanita Bay Park.  I am used to seeing a lot of them but, one weekend, I wandered out to the water and there were more turtles than I had ever seen before.  There was not enough space for them on their regular logs so they were climbing up on each other to get a spot to sunbathe.  Seeing them stacked up like that was really funny to me and it certainly amused many of the other visitors.  Plenty of shots were taken that day, I think.

Can Birds Read Signs?

I was walking through Juanita Bay Park when I saw this bird sitting on the sign.  It sat there for a while before flying beyond it.  I am not sure whether the sign was really directed at the local wildlife or just the humans but, if it was for the birds, it either can’t read or it was a little disobedient.

Invading the Privacy of Otters

When you are watching wildlife, you don’t have the same considerations that you would for other people.  I was down at Juanita Bay one evening and realized that there were a couple of otters on the bank.  It rapidly became apparent that they were in the process of mating.  This went on for ages.  The male had the female grasped tightly.  They would end up in the water where he almost seemed to be drowning her.  Then they would end up on land again where he would continue to grip her tightly.  The occasional yelp would be issued and then they were back in the water.

A load of people were gathered by this point watching this process.  The idea that a large group of people would hang around and watch humans doing this would involve a violation of a bunch of laws – at least in the US.  However, we are fascinated by animals so there we all stood.  Eventually I had other things to do so, while close encounters with otters are prized, it was time to move on.  I guess we shall find out before too long if we have a bunch of new little otters in the park.

Fearless Red Wing Blackbirds

Most of the animals in the park are pretty accustomed to the humans.  Provided we remain a reasonable distance away, they are comfortable getting on with their lives.  Get too close, and they will be spooked.  The exception to this rule is red-winged blackbirds.  They really seem to be quite blasé about the humans.  Stand on the boardwalks and they might come and land on the handrail next to you and wander up alongside you.  Sudden movements might scare them, but steady movements won’t phase them at all.  While watching other wildlife, you can almost not realize that they are there.  I find my phone is the best option for getting images because they are too close for the regular set up.

This Turtle is Not Like the Others!

There are loads of turtles in Juanita Bay and, on a sunny day, they will be out of the water and sunning themselves.  I saw a bunch of them on the shore and was not bothered since this is hardly a new shot.  Then I noticed something that seemed outsized.  I couldn’t make it out exactly but took some shots to review later.  Turns out to be a different species of turtle to our regulars.  This fella is way bigger than the rest.  I don’t know if they are common in Lake Washington or whether this is an unusual visitor, but it certainly was large.  The other turtles didn’t seem bothered, though.