This week’s photo, taken June 17, 2015 from the pier in Edmonds, WA, features the first HORNED PUFFIN ever reported from that area.
During the past nine months, I’ve spent a lot of time bird-watching from the fishing pier in Edmonds. I’m attracted to that spot for many reasons. The local people are friendly, the views are spectacular, it’s a terrific outdoor classroom for studying sea birds, the bird photography opportunities are excellent, and there are clean restrooms at the nearby ferry terminal. In addition to all that, you just never know what might fly by the pier.
Birdwise, June is one of the slowest months of the year. Nevertheless, this past month I made 10 trips to the pier, each time putting in 3 hours of avian observation. Heck, you just never know what might show up.
Tufted Puffin is high on my dream list of rare birds I hope to see someday from the pier. Two weeks ago, I was there scanning the vastness of the Puget Sound, when I noticed something “different” approaching from the north. The unidentified bird was flying very fast. With my binoculars, I couldn’t tell what it was because it was so far away. Instead of examining it through my spotting scope, I aimed my long camera lens at it and took several photos as it sped by.
Not until I looked at my images a few hours later on my computer, did I realize that it was a puffin! Amazingly, it was not a Tufted Puffin, the expected puffin in our state. It was a HORNED PUFFIN, a species that’s usually found in Alaska, rarely seen in British Columbia, and hardly ever spotted in Washington waters.
July is historically another slow month for viewing birds from the pier, yet I plan to make the 20-minute drive from our house as often as I can. After all, you just never know what you might see from the Edmonds Pier.
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