From Mima Mounds, I headed north to Olympia. I had read that there was some good birdwatching around Budd Inlet, which also happens to be next to the Farmer's Market which is open daily. Since it was lunch time, I drove that way. The Farmer's Market was fun, but not so many birds. I couldn't go to Capital Lake because the parking was taken up by Occupy Seattle.
I got two photos from the city and was ready to go, so I drove up 101.
There are many pullouts and parks along the highway and I lost track of where I took photos. I have many photos like this (too-cloudy-blurry-moving-too-far-away birds):
I guess that's a Harlequin Duck?
Could it be a Loon?
This one was more cooperative! Killdeer.
I'll leave the gull ID to you all (John?). I will be posting many more photos. They were everywhere.
I also have many nice fall foliage photos. Such a pretty time of year.
Here's someone who looks good with fall foliage. I think this is her season.
I found this jellyfish on the shore and it was huge! Probably 14" or so.
Further up the road I pulled out at a dumpy tavern to view some sea lions. There were shorebirds too, but I'd need a scope to see them.
As we were driving along, all the cars ahead of me came to a stop and I couldn't see why. Suddenly I saw movement to the right and saw this!
Fortunately, there was a driveway to pull into and I sat and got many more photos. There must have been almost two dozen elk. This shouldn't have surprised me. About 1/4 mile before this I had stopped at a park to use the facilities and noticed piles of *large* scat in the parking lot. I figured it was elk. I just had no idea they were so close!
They crossed the street and went into this gate. It looked like they would be trapped in there, which I hoped wasn't the case.
This young one was crying for them to wait:
Meanwhile a good portion of the herd continued to graze on this side of the road.
This was the highlight of the day.
Next stop: Port Townsend
Revision: Those are Harbor Seals (not Sea Lions) and the gull is a California Gull both corrections per John. (thanks!)