This week’s photo, taken August 18, 2013 on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, WA, features a GREAT HORNED OWL keeping an eye on me. The large owl’s color and texture blend in nicely with the surrounding forest, helping to conceal its presence. Of course, that is nature’s way.
This past weekend, Laura and I spend a few days on Whidbey, staying with friends who have lived on Washington’s largest island for 10 years. Sunday morning, we hike the panoramic Bluff Trail at Ebey’s Landing State Park, where my first OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER of the year poses confidently atop the first tree we approach at the edge of the forest. We also observe 8 noisy RED CROSSBILLS in a conifer and, with our binoculars, we spot 2 COMMON LOONS relaxing on the calm waters of the Puget Sound.
Later that afternoon, back at our hosts’ house, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES gather at their feeders, a NORTHERN HARRIER flies low over the adjacent field, and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET sits dazed and confused on the patio deck after colliding with a window. After a few minutes, it begins to open its eyes and move its head. Finally, it flies away, but not before leaving its ‘business card’ on the deck. No need for concern, though. Kinglet poop is paltry, and we are relieved to witness the little bird’s recovery.