Monday, November 7, 2016

There's no bunting, like snow bunting . . .

 I spent most of last week, if I have my days straight, in Banff attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, and it was a very good, educational, fun, and possibly even blog-worthy experience. But that's not what has motivated this evening's brief return to blahdeblahblah land. No, I am here to post a few photos from today's expedition to Discovery Park because it's in Seattle's own Discovery Park that one can find a snow bunting this week and, well, SNOW BUNTING!!! Life bird, for those who care about such things (and possibly I am such a person), but more it's such an adorable, sweet, obliging, and worryingly seemingly defenseless and unaware sort of bird. I post its photo here and just hope and hope and hope that it soon finds its way to wherever the rest of its friends are wintering and that it's not killed by a dog or a coyote or a hungry raptor.

 It was, as it happens, a lovely day for a bike ride. After biking up to the Junction we bussed to downtown and then rode along the waterfront, through SAM's sculpture park, Myrtle Edwards, and Terminal 91 into Magnolia and up the tedious incline to Discovery Park. Once at the park we studied the map to work out a route to the stairs down to the North Beach.

Possibly what we really wanted was the South Beach but, well, we just didn't know. En route we encountered a woman with binoculars who told us that yes, the snow bunting was still around, just beyond the lighthouse and then, near the lighthouse, a second woman with binoculars who gave us very specific directions to the bird itself. It truly was just off the path.

After admiring the wee creature for a good long time we retraced our steps, eventually climbing back up those 200 stairs (I counted on the return) and then rode back downtown, admiring the various sights as we went. Seattle, you may be stuck up and pretentious and not as clever as you think you are, but I adore you, with your mountains and waters and parks and birds, birds, birds.


  1. It *is* a lovely little bird and I am so glad you got to see it. And I do hope it finds its way over the Cascades to eastern WA soon where it should find many friends.

    Yes, you wanted the South Beach. Years ago I climbed those stairs and also counted and think I got to 207 or so. Well done!

    1. It was a nice walk through the trees and then along the beach so I'm not exactly complaining about having headed to the wrong beach. We wouldn't have seen the wigeons on the pond/lagoon if we'd taken the more direct route. Thank you again for sharing the news of the bunting!

    2. Yes, I was happy to explore the North Beach as well with the trio of birders who joined me in the bunting find--we did see the wigeons there and also had some nice birds on the Sound too. But I was even happier to avoid the stairs this time.

      I like your post title--most apt!

    3. I'm glad you liked the title! In addition to the wigeons we saw a lot of grebes, a trio of buffleheads, a number of cormorants, and a very obliging kingfisher. The stairs were made worthwhile by an obliging golden-crowned kinglet.

    4. It *was* inviting me to join it in its watery realm!