I popped over to Ebey’s Nature Preserve, which has some of the best birds on Whidbey. Located by Fort Casey State park, the Admiralty Bay and Crockett Lake provide the water salt-water lagoons and protected wetlands that make it one of the best places to find a huge variety of birds. This time of year the cattails are high, and the colors of Fall are starting to set in and the birds are everywhere. It is pretty hard to not point your lens out the car window and not get something. If you are willing to tromp out into the mosquitos a bit and get in the fields, you can be surrounded by all sort of birds big and small. On this trip, the wind was pretty crazy again so not a lot of birds in flight, but I did find a little family of Killdeer along the edge of the ponds at the edge of the reserve. At first I could only see the parent, but once I looked closer, you could see some of the younger ones hidden in the rocks to the right. Killdeer are pretty common to the area and are one of the few shorebirds that are not super water dependent. They are somewhat shy at first and will often times run down the beach before taking flight. They are also known for their use of trickery to protect their nest acting like they have a broken wing leading a predator away from the nest.
Just around the corner from the Killdeer was the leftover boards from a fence that had a flock of Brewer’s Blackbirds (at least I think that is what they are based on the yellow eye). You can find these guys and gals pretty much all the time down here. While they normally migrate south, the mild winters and abundance of food has some of them up on the island pretty much year round. These guys are a lot of fun to work with. They are fast fliers with quick directional changes and they are very social with large numbers of them flying together.
Finally, what would a trip to the Reserve be without a gull. When it come to identifying birds, gulls might be the hardest. There are so many types and varieties and they often times look the same. This juvenile ring-billed gull was parked out on some drift wood on the Admiralty Bay beach. These gulls are pretty common across the entire US. Lucky for me, this one was willing to sit and pos and watch the rest of the world float by. Eventually, he disappeared out into the bay in search of something to eat.
I am looking forward to the weekend, when I get back to the island when I can head about out the Reserve in search of some more great times behind the camera. As I continue to find my interesting in the local wildlife work increasing, it is nice to have such a great place to work and play while I learn more and more about these amazing creatures.