October 23, 2011

Driving North

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!)


  1. Incredibly beautiful photos. Your dog has such a sweet face and that photo just above is perfect

  2. Wow those are awesome elk photos! Hope they didn't get trapped. The foliage photos are beautiful, and that photo of Maggie is definitely frame-able! I loved Port Townsend when I visited there a few years ago- especially the Port Townsend Brewery beers!

  3. Looks like a wonderful trip. Your gull is a young California Gull (blocky head, long thin bill, blue-gray on the legs). The marine mammals are Harbor Seals. They look like giant slugs. So cute.

  4. John: thanks for the ID and the correction on the seals. They do look like giant slugs!


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