Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day Expedition Report

Being tormented by the sound but not sight of birds at Bloedel
After having planned to go to Nisqually for Valentine's Day, we changed our minds and opted for a ferry ride and a first visit to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge instead. There were fewer birds than I might have liked but it was still a lovely spot, and I'm hoping we'll get back there again soon (because, yes, I figured I might as well commit to a year's membership). Happily, their website suggests that it's accessible by public transit so it shouldn't require a car for the day. I love a ferry ride, but not having to mess with getting a car would make it just that much sweeter an outing.
A ferry ride on an atmospheric night
 Fairly early in the walk we encountered a sweet little wren that I'm calling a marsh wren though I swear it was smaller and more orange than most marsh wrens I've seen. It was also some distance from any water though, it being western Washington in winter, everything was a bit wet. There are no photos; it was too flighty and, frankly, I didn't get any decent bird photos on the expedition.

The first pond features some ducks and their allies
The grounds were lovely, and the fleeting glimpses of birds were encouraging. Maybe on a less rushed, less crowded day we'd see more. That's my thinking, anyway. It seems ideal habitat for a northern saw-whet owl, though I have no real reason to believe there are any who live or visit there. We heard, but did not see, a ton of frogs. (In truth, my suspicious nature has me wondering if they have speakers broadcasting very loud frogs all around the place.)
The view from the tea house
 The ferry trip was a bit windy but quite photogenic, at least on the return. It's a lovely city in which we live, and I was particularly charmed by all the people lined up on the car deck, eager to take photos of the skyline. There were similar crowds on the decks above. I hope some of their photos were more in focus than mine turned out to be.
Something old
Something new
Something (hella)bor(rowed) from the backyard
 Assuredly, however, no one had a sweeter valentine.
Something blue


  1. Might it have been a Pacific Wren?
    Lovely photos, even the slightly out of focus ones which give one a true picture of Seattle in winter (always misty).
    You might want to wait on Nisqually until after the Great Horned Owl has owlets (supposedly any day now).

    1. Scott thought that it had a definite eyebrow but I think maybe you're right and it was a Pacific/winter wren.