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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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 341

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


We had a disappointing start the day when we woke up to no snow at all this morning. It was cold and there was a layer of frost over everything which my four year old found very exciting. There’s another chance for snow later in the week so we’ll be hoping for the childhood wonder to fall then. There were a few dark clouds to the southeast at daybreak, but otherwise the day was clear and soon to be…

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365 Nature – Day 331

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


Another dark autumn day, but there are sparks of light all around our yard. We don’t get fireflies here, but we do get something that is just as flashy. Anna’s Hummingbirds have been a regular presence since I put the feeders back up and I’ve been watching them like I do every autumn and winter. This year we’ve had regular males visited the feeders and perching in the yard. Last year my memory, although often faulty, recalls more…

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365 Nature – Day 318

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


Over the last couple of months I’ve developed a night-time ritual of watching the spiders around our back porch light. When we replaced our exterior doors we opted for new doors with small windows at the top. I wish I could say the reasoning for the windows was so I could watch spiders at night, but that would be untrue. Really, we just wanted more light inside, the spider watching was an unexpected bonus. Now, each night on…

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