Daily Observations

Eagle with Kill

I went part way up Verstovia today and on the way I spent a little time observing birds along Lincoln Street and down in Totem Park.

Weather: It was partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies over the day. There was a light wind out of the south west around mid-morning when I was walking down through the park.

Birds: There were a pair of Wilson’s Warblers in the trees in our backyard this morning. The Townsend’s Warblers were also singing.

Still lots of ravens on the campus lawn.

There was a flock of Red Crossbills in the trees on the water side of Lincoln Street. They were actively foraging on abundant hemlock cones.

As I was leaving the crossbills, I happened to notice a raptor that did not look like an eagle. It was a fair distance away, but I still took a some photos of it in the hopes that it would be enough for identification. It turned out to be a Red-tailed Hawk.

There were many warblers in the trees surrounding the estuary.

While I was watching a Wilson’s Warbler, hoping it would land in a branch close to me where I could get a photo, a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker flew up to a tree right near me. Unfortunately, it landed on the other side of the tree and flew off before I could get a better look.

I think I heard a Pacific Slope Flycatcher, but I was not able to find it visually.

There were not many shorebirds at the park, two small sandpipers (Western, perhaps?) flew up from right in front of me after I had more or less given up on seeing any. There were two Spotted Sandpipers in front of the Visitor’s Center.

The highlight of the park visit was seeing a Bald Eagle eating. I have found quite a few sets of gull remains over the last couple of years, but today was the first time I saw one being consumed (see today’s photo). I assume this eagle caught the gull, but I did not see it happen.

On Mt. Verstovia Trail I observed (heard, mostly) a Northern Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, hummingbirds (including one that seemed particularly interested in a large broken off snag), Townsend’s Warblers, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, crossbills, a mystery bird (chickadee?), eagles, crows, and ravens.

Flora: There are siberian miner’s lettuce plants blooming along Lincoln Street.

The stream violets at the bottom of Mt. Verstovia Trail appear to be in full bloom. I saw some fern-leaf goldthread flowers as I got up to medium elevations.

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