As usual, the weather forecast for Seattle wasn’t quite right. Today, though, it was much more pessimistic than needed: it’s been above 50°F all morning, and only partly cloudy since about 9:15 am this morning.
A perfect morning for some birding in Discovery Park! Very few people around, fewer than you’d expect for a morning like this, but I suppose a lot of people trusted the weather forecast a bit too much, because even the Ballard Farmers’ Market wasn’t nearly as crowded as it usually is on such beautiful days. I took 380 photos in about an hour and a half, mostly due to burst-fire. As you’ll see, most of the birds I found this morning were busy bathing and preening, so burst-fire mode is very useful for catching interesting (and sudden) behavior.
When I arrived it was still overcast, so the lighting wasn’t great. I quickly found an Anna’s hummingbird, though I couldn’t get close enough to get a shot, and saw a red-tailed hawk from a distance flying out of the park. But then, a fun bird to find (and rather shy): a red-breasted sapsucker. Quite a few robins, starlings, and even a Stellar’s jay were in the tree as well. Though I located it by the sounds of its tapping, it soon started to scratch its face on a branch and then begin preening:
Further down the path, robins were bathing in groups:
As well as a song sparrow:
..and a spotted towhee:
All of the birds seemed more interested in enjoying the sunshine, scratching, and preening themselves than browsing for food.
There was one browser though:
But this really was a good morning to preen after a nice cold puddle bath:
And finally, on my way out of the park toward the Ballard Farmers’ Market and some brunch, a male Anna’s hummingbird that let me get fairly close:
As an aside: on Wednesday the 21st I got bladeless LASIK on both eyes. Fantastic decision. It’s helping my birding fieldcraft (my vision is much sharper than it ever was with glasses!) as well as my photography (the view through the viewfinder is finally super sharp so I can be more confident of sharp focus–no amount of diopter adjustment on the viewfinder with my glasses was able to get things this sharp).