Tag Archives: Kirkland

Grebes Scooting Over the Bay

Earlier in the year, I was up at Juanita Bay before things got too warm to make it enjoyable.  We get plenty of ducks and coots on the bay but, on this occasion, there were a load of grebes on the water.  The types of grebes I grew up with a larger than the ones I saw here.  To be honest, I am not certain whether these were adults or juveniles because they seemed to have very small wings.  Maybe that is how they are, but it could be that they weren’t fully grown.  Maybe some of you know your birds well and can enlighten me.

Anyway, they would periodically get excited and start zipping around the bay.  They would be flapping these small wings furiously and just skimming across the water until they found somewhere that they were happier to be.  I don’t know whether this is just normal movement or that they were spooked by something but it was fascinating to watch them hurtling around.

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!

Amazon’s Rivian Delivery Trucks

Amazon became an investor in Rivian, the electric vehicle manufacturer.  Part of this investment resulted in Rivian creating a new delivery vehicle for Amazon that is electric.  I first became aware of it when watching a Doug DeMuro video but it wasn’t long before they started showing up around here.  We do have Amazon’s headquarters here so it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I have seen them on the roads a lot but have not been able to get a shot of one because I was driving.  Then one showed up at work, so I took a few pictures from my window before it headed off.  It took me back to the unusual FedEx delivery vehicles I saw when we lived in Chicago but, of which, I have seen nothing since.

Deer Invading the Office

One morning I drove up to the office and, as I pulled into the spot I usually use, I saw a bunch of deer on the grass in front of me.  This area may be popular with wildlife, but I have never seen anything near the office other than crows!  I was going to stay in the car to avoid spooking them but, there was a guy from a contractor loading up his truck and they didn’t seem bothered by him so I figured I could go indoors without them worrying.  Sure enough, as I walked by, they looked at me but were unimpressed.

Once I was upstairs, I looked down on them chomping on some of the bushes and then they headed across the parking lot and away.  I thought that would be it but, when I headed home, they were back and in the same place.  I guess they found our shrubberies tasty.  I have seen them once more since but they are clearly not a regular feature yet.  I could imagine that this was a thing when the office was closed for the pandemic but to have them around now when things are busy again was a surprise.

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.