Another sunny February morning here in Seattle, and the last day of February at that. An appointment this morning meant I couldn’t go far, so off I went to Discovery Park, on the north end this time. I was almost immediately greeted by a number of dark-eyed juncos and American robins browsing nearby, and even several Bewick’s wrens singing.
It may not be spring by the calendar, but the plants and birds sure think it is. We’ve gotten a very early spring here on the west coast and all the local birds are busy with mating displays and nest building. The normally easy-to-shoot Anna’s hummingbirds are non-stop bundles of energy right now, chasing each other around in mating displays. The only shot I got of one this morning was of a resting male with a bad lighting angle:
I skipped (most of) the work day today. I didn’t want to stare at a computer screen for hours, there was nothing urgent I couldn’t take care of later, and most importantly, it’s been beautiful and sunny all day here in Seattle. I ended up going to both Discovery Park and Magnuson Park.
Shortly after I arrived in Discovery Park I stopped to look at a rather loud song sparrow and noticed movement on the tree trunk. At first I thought (by the size) that it might be a downy woodpecker, but no; instead, I’d found a reclusive brown creeper, the first time I’ve ever seen one!
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:
I’ve gone through my past year of shots in Lightroom, picked out my favorites, and present them here with brief descriptions of where and how I got them.
I’d just finished a rather unlucky birding session in the Arboretum when I noticed a small bird climbing around on a low-hanging branch. I carefully circled around the tree to be able to catch the bird in the morning sunlight and sure enough, it not only circled the branch, but climbed toward me a bit closer as well. I liked this shot so much I made it the first photo I had printed onto canvas, and it’s hanging in my kitchen. This is a downy woodpecker, the first of about 4 that I saw in 2014.