Today I did something I hadn’t done before; rather than go to a place I knew to be good for general birding, I chased down some rare bird sightings, to mixed success. Being fairly new to all this I had only just found out about a mailing list for regional bird sightings. A few days ago the Seattle Audubon Society had posted about a snowy owl who’d showed up in Edmonds, WA. Using the mailing list I was able to narrow my search to the marina park, to which I arrived about 30 minutes after sunrise on this cold (~25°F) morning.
Unfortunately, the owl was nowhere to be found. I knew it was a long shot, as it hadn’t been seen since Friday (two days ago), but a number of other birders had taken the same gamble. Nobody had seen the owl. Still, there were some interesting species to be found, including a large and hungry flock of pine siskin:
And a pair of seagulls fighting over a dead fish:
After a stop for breakfast at a local cafe, I decided that instead of heading home I should try for the other rare sighting in the area: an American white pelican at Lake Sammamish, a 45 minute drive from Edmonds. This time, the drive was worth it. The pelican was several hundred feet from the boat launch at Lake Sammamish State Park in the southeastern side of the lake. I couldn’t get much of a picture (this is a heavy crop of a picture with poor lighting), but proof enough at least: a white pelican among the double-crested cormorants that normally occupy the lake:
I also saw (but couldn’t get a picture of) a lone male canvasback (a species of diving duck), and finished the day off with a very close up shot of a dark-eyed junco (obviously not rare at all):
A successful day, I’d say, and I’ll probably try the same thing next week.