Posted June 11, 2012 from Seattle, WA
Delia and I traveled out to the Snoqualmie Valley yesterday and took about 16,000 steps at the Stillwater Wildlife Management Unit there. (Delia wears a “pedophile” (Paul Dunn-from-the-Market’s joke, it’s more accurately called a pedometer) and always knows how many steps we take.) We didn’t find some of the birds we were looking for there: No Nighthawk, no American Redstart, and no Red-eyed Vireo. On the way home we’re reasonably certain we did hear a Red-eyed Vireo in trees off the side of a backroad by the River.
What we did find were many birds getting down to the serious business of raising young. Here a Red-breasted Sapsucker is bringing food to babies.
This Barn Swallow was working with it’s mate on a nest site. All six Swallow species were present at Stillwater yesterday—and nothing makes for a pleasant summer day more than lots of swallows.
A male Lazuli Bunting that seemed to have just been in some kind of dispute with another brightly colored male. Wish I’d been able to get that shot. Speaking of brightly colored, there were Bullock’s Orioles around but too high up in the trees to get any shots.
Male Rufous Hummers were buzzing around everywhere, picking high perches from which to surveille their territories.
Cedar Waxwings, as usual in the summer, were among the most abundantly represented birds there.
This Great Blue Heron–well-attired for the breeding season–was working the slough by the parking lot, where a Wood Duck and a Mallard mom were guarding their kids.
All this got us feeling so summery that we almost forgot what the weather’s been like lately, and in a fit of optimism Delia stopped at Remlingers for some strawberries. We were told to come back in a week or two, but we did find Barn and Violet-green Swallows, nesting Juncos, and these natty old Fords in the Remlinger parking lot.