Daily Observations

Caspian Terns

It was a nice day today, but I spent most of it working on things around the house. I was able to get out for an evening walk to Totem Park, however.

Weather: It was another warm sunny day. At the park this evening, there was a pretty good breeze blowing out of the Northwest.

Birds: The highlight of the day for me was definitely four Caspian Terns at the park. I had passed by the gulls with only a cursory scan, deliberately deciding that I didn’t feel like giving them a close look to try to decide which species where there. After I had gone some distance away toward the river, I heard a strange call. It was sort of a croak (in hindsight, after reading about it later, almost heron like, but that’s not what I thought at the time). I looked back and heard it again coming from near the gulls. I scanned with the binoculars and saw a strange flying gull with a black cap and a red beak. That’s when I realized there was a tern out there. I was able to approach slowly and get a pretty good look at three Caspian Terns at the edge of the flock of gulls. There was a fourth in the middle of the flock. One thing I noticed about their flight is that it was different than the gulls, but did not seem so distinctly different that it would have immediately stood out to me.

Other birds I saw at the park included Western and Least Sandpipers, Dunlin, Brant, Northern Shovelers, Mallards, Herring, Thayer’s, and Glaucous-winged Gulls, American Robins, Wilson’s Warblers, and Savannah Sparrows. The eagles were active along Lincoln Street beach and the park. I’m not sure where they got it, but several seemed to be fighting over a fish carcass. Ravens were also actively calling in the forest.

Flora: The trailing currants are still blooming, but the flowers are starting to fade.

Caspian Tern

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