Field Journal: Yesler Swamp


Yesterday I took a walk around Yesler Swamp, a newly opened and restored landscape on the north side of Union Bay. It was dramatically different from when I visited in September on Day 265 of my 365 Nature Project. Whereas in September the boardwalk was like walking through a dense, green jungle, today it was barren and brown and I could see through most of the landscape. The sky looked wide open with all the trees and shrubs bare and the brown and muddy ground was exposed. I could hear many birds; robins were…

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Field Journal: Northern Shoveler

Over the last couple of weeks I hadn’t spent as much time at Washington Park Arboretum as I did during my 365 Nature Project, but yesterday promised a sunny day so I decided to walk around while my daughter was at her outdoor preschool. Although it was cold again, the freezing streak had broken and I walked to the pond near Foster Island to see if the ice was gone and the water was open to ducks again. Indeed it was clear again and I spotted a few birds foraging in the water, but mostly on the far west…

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Field Journal: Point No Point and Foulweather Bluff

With a sunny but cold forecast for this weekend I wanted to get out before we returned to rain next week. I had been exploring quite a bit of the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula near the end of my 365 Nature Project going to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Ediz Hook Reserve for the BirdsFort Flagler and Vashon Island and I wanted to keep visiting the area. I had seen Point No Point mentioned a few times in various books and decided to visit there yesterday. Point No Point is on the next small peninsula…

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Book: Fauna & Family

In 2016 I read 39 books, not counting picture books which would surely triple that number and then some. Although I posted about a few of them during my 365 Nature Project, there were many I didn’t mention on my website. This year I’m aiming to read at least 40 books and try to post notes about all of them on here. Yesterday I finished my third book of the year (I’ll post about the first two later), Fauna and Family by Gerald Durrell. It’s the third and final book in…

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Field Journal: Kleptoparasitism

Today I walked over Foster Island to Union Bay where I expected to see ducks – and see ducks I did, along with coots. There were a hundred coots, if not more, among other waterfowl in the bay near the boardwalk which connects Foster and Marsh Islands. The vast majority of birds were American Coots which were busy diving for aquatic vegetation, but mixed in were a fair number of American Wigeon and a few Gadwall and Ring-necked Ducks. I’ve had a fascination with the dynamics between the coots and other ducks for a few years because they’re a…

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Field Journal: Renton Crow Roost

It was only the second day of my 365 Nature Project when we tracked down the crow roost in Renton, nearly one year ago. For years, since we moved into our house in south Seattle, I had watched the crows fly south in a giant stream every night in the autumn and winter months and I wanted to know where they went. On Day 2 of 365 Nature I found out – they descended on a parking lot in an industrial area of Renton, just south of Seattle and near the local Ikea store. It was a…

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