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 – Magnuson Park

Over the past few days I heard some rumblings on the internet that there were Bohemian Waxwings being seen in Seattle and particularly at Magnuson Park. Like our more common Cedar Waxwings, these birds spend their summer in the far north, but the Bohemian Waxwings don’t often winter in our area. They are unpredictable in their winter range and this year they have spread to the Puget Sound region. I’d wanted to visit Magnuson and Friday was perhaps the last sunny day for a while so I drove there after dropping my daughter off at school.

I arrived, parking in a location near…

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365 Nature – Day 361

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


This summer I developed a particular fondness for our marine life after visiting extreme low tides at Alki Beach on Day 187 and Scenic Beach on Days 185 and 186. The winter tides have been very high, in fact today’s high tides are around plus 10 while the lowest tide barely gets below zero, not good for watching marine animals. Today we decided to visit Seattle Aquarium on the waterfront. I like to visit the aquarium because…

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365 Nature – Day 360

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


After our Christmas morning I wanted to get outside and go for a walk and so my daughter picked Mercer Slough as our destination. I hadn’t been there in almost a year, not since Day 17. Although we had a very foggy morning by the time we were ready for our walk it had burned off and the sun was shining. The elevated boardwalk was over standing water this time of the year and I stopped a one…

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365 Nature – Day 356

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


I watched the summer solstice sunrise this morning through a clear blue sky. It’s the first official day of winter although here in Seattle it’s felt like winter for a couple of weeks. We’ve had snow and many freezing days, while the mushrooms have slowly faded away. Many people see the solstice as a time to start counting the days to spring, but there are many benefits to these longer nights. As the sun rises later and sets earlier,…

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365 Nature – Day 355

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Although the forecast called for rain, it’s a bright and sunny day here in Seattle. All morning the wind raged through the trees rattling their bones together but by afternoon it calmed. In the morning we walked to the beach behind our house to see what was in the lake. There were few birds, most had probably found calm shelter in a cove somewhere else along the lake, but a few stuck around our little bay. There was…

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