Posts Tagged ‘Red-throated Loon’


October 26, 2010

The continental United States has only one rain forest.  It stretches along the spectacular Oregon and Washington State coastline.  The evergreens reach two hundred feet into the skies, often disappearing in the low-lying clouds.  The Pacific and Puget Sound shoulder up to a rocky coastline with scattered bits of sandy beach.  The cold, wave-churned waters are rich in critters from plankton to Orcas.  And here the seabirds pull out onto huge floating logs carried down from the forest just uphill from the water’s edge.

Last year PIB had two winter birding trips to the Northwest Coast for those wintering birds down from the Arctic.  Here are a few of the photos taken by birders on those trips.  Take a look, because we are once again offering this great photo safari into the great American Northwest:


Northern Shrike at Nisqually NWR, Washington.  Photo by Ms Jennifer Hyypio.

Harlequins off the shore of Whidbey Island.  Photo by Steve  Murray.

Pelagic Cormorant and Glaucous-winged Gull pole sitting.  Photo by Ms J. Hyypio.

Gang of Bald Eagles patrolling the edge of a marsh at Nisqually.  Photo by Ms Hyypio.

Red-throated Loon in Hood Canal.  By Mr. Murray.

Rhino Auklet over Puget Sound.  By Steve Murray.

Surfbird along Oregon Coast.  You’ll wait a long time before this species shows up in Colorado.  Photo by Steve Murray.


More Murray…You Shudda Been There

March 21, 2010

Eagles in aerial combat above Nisqually River at Nisqually NWR.  One eagle had a duck in its talons.  Two other eagles envied that.

Mew Gull (Left) and three Western Gulls.

Rhino Auklet in flight.

Part of the Varied Thrush flock we found along the road in Ft. Stevens Park near the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

Red-necked Grebe.  There were many in Hood Canal, none near shore.

Pileated who flew around the treetops at Tolmie State Park, WA.

Red-throated Loon.

Shade Pictures of the Northwest, II

February 26, 2010

Top to bottom;

Brant on the beach at Dosewallips, along Hood Canal.

Common Loon with heavy beak and squarish head.  The more slender Red-throated Loon with a slightly up-turned beak.

Pileated Woodpecker at Tolmie State Park north of Olympia, WA.

Golden-crowned Sparrow.

White-winged Scoter on Hood Canal.   Male with his fancy face mask.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile on

Sauvie Island.

Beach at Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island.

February PIB birders sharing the path with Canada Geese at Nisqually NWR.

Seabirds From Boatside

February 19, 2010

How many Pigeon Guillemots can you see before you stop seeing them?  Our count this final day in the field was in the hundreds and our group noticed them every time.  Birders from land-locked Colorado were expertly spotting the PIGUs at half a mile before the day was out.  Adult on the left.

This pair is likely a male with his young, the pale bird on the right.

Adult Pigeon Guillemots.  They were the most plentiful of the alcids but we saw numerous Rhino Auklets and Marbled Murrelets, plus one each of Cassin’s Auklet and Common Murre.  Most were too far away for even attempting photos.


This loon with the flat top is a Common, motoring away from us.

Much less skeptical of our presence were the Red-throated Loons that seemed to know we couldn’t approach them in deep water.

Horned Grebe, which was one of the two most abundant off the Olympic Peninsula.  The Red-necked Grebe was also plentiful but stayed away from land and boat alike.  Many of these pictures were taken from the Port Townsend ferry dock or on Whidbey Island to the north.


A turnstone tornado on the structure of the Port Townsend ferry dock.  Those would be Black Turnstones.

That gray one with the yellow legs: one of the two Surfbirds I saw among the darker and slightly smaller turnstones.

Sequim and Whidbey Island

January 29, 2010

Top to bottom:  Bewick Wren sings at Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim.

A “beach wren.”  This is Winter Wren feeding among the huge driftwood logs along rocky shore on Whidbey Island.  At Fort Ebey State Park.

This looks like a very busy male Bufflehead with his harem on Admiralty Inlet off Whidbey Island.

Black Oystercatcher along the shoreline at Fort Ebey State Park.

Two Dunlins on the mudflats along Penn Cove on Whidbey Island’s east side.

Greater Yellowlegs on the same mudflats.

Yellowlegs high stepping.

Loon offshore of Whidbey Island. There were also numerous Harlequin Ducks and a pair of Long-tailed Ducks far from the beach.

Location:     Whidbey Island
This includes birds seen from ferryboat between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island.

Observation date:     1/26/10
Number of species:     46

Brant (Black)     6
Gadwall     4
American Wigeon     120
Mallard     15
Northern Pintail     150
Lesser Scaup     6
Harlequin Duck     25
Surf Scoter     10
Long-tailed Duck     3
Bufflehead     80
Common Goldeneye     45
Hooded Merganser     4
Red-breasted Merganser     50
Red-throated Loon     1
Horned Grebe     16
Red-necked Grebe     10
Eared Grebe     2
Western Grebe     3
Double-crested Cormorant     20
Pelagic Cormorant     40
Great Blue Heron     8
Bald Eagle     5
Northern Harrier     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Coot     10
Black-bellied Plover     30
Black Oystercatcher     25
Greater Yellowlegs     10
Western Sandpiper     80
Dunlin (Pacific)     200
Mew Gull     1
Western Gull     6,     Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)     100
California Gull     4
Herring Gull (American)     3
Glaucous-winged Gull     150
Common Murre     1
Pigeon Guillemot     50
Cassin’s Auklet     3
Rock Pigeon     40
Belted Kingfisher     2
Northwestern Crow     8
Winter Wren     4
Golden-crowned Kinglet     10
Song Sparrow     5
Golden-crowned Sparrow     6
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     8