365 Nature – Day 69

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


While spring is a time of change, not all those transitions are arrivals of colorful flowers and warmer weather. It’s also of departure, most noticeably in Union Bay and Lake Washington with the dwindling numbers of water birds. Each day there are fewer and fewer ducks on the water in Seattle as they return north. A few remain, today I was lucky enough to get a relatively close encounter with a pair of Wood Ducks. They, along with Gadwall and a couple other ducks, stay here throughout the seasons. Compared to other ducks however, I’ve found them to be much less tolerant of people. And yet while I was at the arboretum today they swam fairly close to where I stood. The American Coots and Mallards came much closer, they are used to being fed by visitors, but for a Wood Duck, I counted it as a close visit.

I walked out to Foster and Marsh Islands again today, the Violet-green Swallows I’d noticed on sunny Day 62 were nowhere to be found and the bay sat fairly empty. There were Pied-billed Grebes and a couple of Ring-necked Ducks, but even the cormorants seemed to have vanished. I did encounter a group of Song Sparrows collecting materials for a nest. And the Bald Eagles are currently incubating eggs in their nest nearby. It’s an interesting time when the seasons overlap.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer based in Seattle. She founded and writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat and has contributed articles to a variety of other websites and publications.

Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.
Kelly Brenner
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