This week’s photo, taken October 24, 2014 from the Edmonds Fishing Pier in Edmonds, WA, features a COMMON MURRE, a bird that spreads its wings just before it dives from the surface, so it can “fly” underwater in search of small fish.
The Edmonds Pier offers all the ingredients for a pleasant birding experience: convenient parking and nearby restrooms, great views of perched, flying or floating birds in every direction, and plenty of space so birders can spread the legs of their tripods and scan the Puget Sound with their spotting scopes.
But, wait, there’s more. A steady flow of local exercisers stride along the pier, faithfully walking to the very end of the pier before turning around. Apparently, someone told them that they won’t receive credit for their morning walk unless they cover the entire length of the pier. The walkers are an entertaining, friendly and curious bunch. They often ask me if I’m looking for whales, and I tell them, “No, I’m looking for birds, but if a whale shows up, I am willing to temporarily become a whale watcher.”
Some people also fish from the pier, which is probably why it’s called a fishing pier. Some anglers increase their chances of catching something by crabbing, in addition to fishing. Crabbers tie one end of a thin rope to the railing and the other end to their crab trap. Then, they throw the trap over the railing as if they were tossing a frisbee with two hands. One crabber, who apparently hadn’t had his morning coffee yet, forgot to tie off his trap before tossing it into the water. Oops. Somehow, he successfully retrieved his equipment, although I don’t know how because my eye was glued to my scope the whole time. After all, I’m not fishing or crabbing or looking for whales. I’m looking for birds.
Holiday greeting cards: