Thursday, July 17, 2008

Michelle and I went to Vashon Island for her birthday in June. We stayed at a cottage up near the very top of the island. It was beautiful. We stayed in Washington for 3 days and had a great time! We also went down to Des Moines, WA and took a charter out to go whale/wildlife watching. Also awesome!

So here are some of the photos we took. Hope you enjoy!

Point Defiance is where we ferried over to the island from. Gorgeous views from there.

Here is the view from our cottage. We could see for a hundred miles in every direction.

We took a walk down to the beach our first morning there and this is one of the first birds we came across, just down a couple of hundred yards off the main road on an overgrown path. A Barred Owl! Not only a Life List bird for us but also the first owl, of any kind, that we have ever seen in the wild.

We were walking down the path and we turned around to watch a Jay flying by and... BAM! It was only about 10 feet from where we stood. Is was amazing!

It didn't fly away or make a single sound. Just sat there watching us closely. We couldn't believe it.

Here is a Great Blue Heron (he was in full breeding plumage) preening itself on a jetty near where we launched the charter boat.

Here is a different Heron along the docks just outside of Olympia, WA.

A Tufted Puffin. Another Life List bird for us!

This is a (grainy) photo of a Rhinoceros Auklet, not yet in breeding plumage.

Another of the Auklet.

A very friendly Pigeon Guillemot!

Here is an Osprey that we watched fly lazily down the waters edge, then suddenly, turned it's wings downward and plunged into the water. It actually submerged itself completely and stayed under water for 3 or 4 seconds. Then it popped up and slowly hoisted this fish, what looked like through the binos to be a flounder, and flew into the tree line. It was so cool to watch!

Another photo of the same Osprey.

Not far from the Osprey was this Kingfisher fishing just off shore. It was very interesting to watch exactly how he gets his fish.

On the docks where the charter was moored.

Michelle woke up that first morning (about 4:30am) and looked out the window to find this little doe!

She knew we were there but she stayed around for quite a while. There eventually ended up being 4 deer total. The Doe and Stag and two fawns. I want to go back!

That dark mass in the center of the photo is actually a juvenile Hump-Backed Whale! We saw him (or her) a few times out on the water. New one for us as well!

Here is a Harbor Seal. There were about a dozen of them playing and sunning pretty close to the boat.

The black and white fin you see sticking out of the water there is a Dahl's Porpoise! There were also quite a few of these guys playing in the boats wake.

Here is a strange little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee that has been coming into the yard for a while now. There are 2 that visit that have these odd, dirty looking marks. Any ideas?

Same little guy.

Here's the other one. They look pretty similar but, after watching them for a while, we can tell them apart.

A Cooper's Hawk that swooped in the other day.

Such gorgeous birds!

In the left corner we have: Cooper's Hawk! and in the Right corner (actually, right hand side about half way up) we have: Rat. See the little gray spot on the right hand side?

About 30 seconds after this photo was taken our cat Gem (on the ground) jumped straight up in the air for the Cooper's. He just lazily flew off with no harm done. We were actually worried that he might decide to take her for lunch.

An orange variant House Finch on one of our many thistle sacks. He was a vibrant orange!

Most of the birds in the yard are happy to just drink out of the bird baths the "normal" way. But not the Lesser Goldfinch. They will line up on the drip lines (we have two) and wait their turn to slip down the spout and drink the drops coming out. Very fun to watch.

My personal favorite American Kestrel photo that we have taken. He was a very inquisitive little fellow.

Here is a photo of about 30-40 Crows attacking a local Red-Tail Hawk. They don't ever seem to bother any of the other hawks in the area. Just the Red-Tail. The Red-Tail never seems to notice all of the Crows, though. Good for him!

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1 comment:

Germán Botto said...

Dear Seth and Michelle, i`ve been watching your photos and it`s a really nice work. I`ve reached your blog looking for cameras in google...some friends of mine are travelling to Portland and we`re interested in buying a Lumix DMC-FZ8...just the same you have as i have readed in one of your previous posts. The problem is that searching the web we couldn`t find any panasonic dealer there. So i would like to ask you if you could tell me the aproximate price of that camera there and, if you know, the web site of any store that could sale it. Thanks in advance, again, congratulations for the blog and the stunning photos and sorry for such a strange request.