Weather: There were periods of rain today, with mostly cloudy skies. The effect over town was alternating periods of relatively bright (sometimes sunny) weather with dark overcast and rain. On a short walk to the park this afternoon, I experienced the end of one rain shower and got to see a rainbow in front of Mt. Verstovia. The sun was still fairly high in the sky, so the rainbow was not a large one. Winds during the rain shower were out of the northwest. They seemed to calm down after the rain.
Birds: The Winter Wren started calling this morning at about 6:45am and called continuously for nearly 15 minutes. It would pause for only a few seconds between songs.
I heard the gulls calling vigorously while in my office in the early afternoon, but I was meeting with a student and unable to check outside to see why they were being so vocal in a location that I could easily hear them.
Later in the afternoon I went for a short walk to Totem Park. On my way down Lincoln Street I heard some eagles calling and stopped to take a look. One eagle was perched on a piling and another came swooping in toward it. I saw something drop from the piling into the water, after which the perched eagle took off and started flying toward the other eagle. A third eagle flew into the fray. They circled around a bit with one or two of them landing on pilings. The third eagle (which I think was the one that had intially swooped in on the perched eagle, but I’m not sure) appeared to be erratically flying around and getting tossed about by the wind. Just when it looked like it was going to get blown away, it pulled its wings in, dropped almost straight down to the water, extended its wings just in time and managed to grab something out of the water with its talons before flying strongly off toward the trees and beyond. In hindsight, I guess it was a pretty amazing bit of flying rather than the erratic, windblown flying I had intially thought I was seeing.
There was a pretty good flock of gulls out in the bay. It appeared that they were feeding on something near the surface. I also saw an eagle swooping down among them. It seems likely there was a school of small fish near the surface.
There were a couple of pretty good sized flocks of gulls just past the large tidepools on the southwest part of the tideflats, but I did not see any that looked unusual at a first glance (and I did not have time to stick around for a closer look).
As I walked out to the point I flushed the Killdeer. I did not see it before it took off and flew a short distance away. It seemed far more energetic than when I first observed it last Friday. At that time it was very reluctant to fly, prefering to walk away from my approach. Today it did not seem to hesitate at all, flying up when I was still a pretty good distance away.
Other Notes: Blueberries flowers are increasing in number.
Students have told me that they are starting to catch Dolly Varden now. Presumably that means the salmon fry are starting to out migrate from Indian River.