Since I was staying downtown, Dan (my son) and I decided to take the ferry from there over to Bainbridge Island and then drive up to Point No Point on the Kitsap Peninsula, returning on the Edmonds Ferry via Kingston.
A Birder's Guide to Washington describes this spot thus: "Strong currents churn up plankton and small invertebrates when tides are running. Large concentrations of Pacific Sand Lance and Pacific Herring gather in the tidal rips at these rich feeding areas, in turn attracting high numbers of marine birds."
On the way up, Dan saw a sign pointing us to Chief Sealth's (Seattle is named for him) grave and wanted to take the detour to see it. Though we never got to the cemetery, we DID come across a Suquamish tribe Pow-Wow at Agate Pass.
Knowing sea birds would wait, we stopped in, listening to drumming and seeing young tribe members dressed up in traditional outfits for the celebration. Dan bought some smoked salmon from a tribe member who catches and smokes the fish himself. I invested in a carved bone necklace and a pair of silver earrings. We then had some lunch at the Agate Pass Cafe (highly recommended) and perused a small tribal craft shop, before moving on.
Point No Point was all it promised to be. We parked in one of the two public lots. We were fortunate, since the weather was cold, windy, and drizzly, so not many people were there. We walked past the small lighthouse, onto the beach which curved around the point.
Immediately, we saw why the book recommended this spot. There were Loons, Grebes, Ducks, Gulls, and three Harbor Seals who were curious about what we were looking at.
If you follow this blog, you know I don't have an expensive camera. I'm more interested in observing birds first and taking photographs afterward. Happily, Dan is the opposite, so we were able to get some middling photos of several of the birds we saw. Please take into account, the photos were taken with a Panasonic Lumix camera at anywhere between 20 - 40x.
|Common Goldeneye getting ready to dive|
|We loved how the Merganser would look underwater to see what was there before diving.|
|"What's the Point"|
The list (lifers in bold type):
Great Blue Heron
Addendum: Earlier in the week, we took a short walk through the southern portion of Discovery Park. Being a day of "acceptable" Seattle weather (not raining), it was busy, which probably affected our bird numbers. However, I add the below list for a sense of completion (out of taxonomic field guide order):
Next birding foray: Magee Marsh, Ohio!!!