We took a long weekend to attend the Wings Over Water Festival at Blaine, Semiahmoo and Birch Bay, Washington. This area is part of the Pacific migration flyway, and mid-March is prime time for watching birds. Birders come from great distances to add to their life lists, but happily for us the coast is less than an hour away. 

My mother loves birds so I learned early how to recognize them by sight, locate them by their calls, and observe their behaviour, for example, detecting where the nest will be by the steady stream of twigs being carried to a certain tree. I also learned a great respect for nature, and was careful never to disturb or frighten any of the beautiful creatures. 

Never having lived by an ocean, I did not learn many water and shore birds so I went to this conference ignorant. I came away much smarter. Recognition makes the difference between boredom and interest, and I’m delighted with how many ducks I can name now. Next I’ll start on shore birds.

Below is a gallery of birds we saw and identified during the past week. My husband took these photos with his Nikon P900 camera. It is powerful but compact and made all the difference in our birding education. The coastal birds were photographed at the festival. Birds photographed at our local Willband Creek Park are labeled with that location.

Harlequin Duck Male

Harlequin Duck Male

Harlequin Ducks Male and Female

Harlequin Ducks Male and Female

Surf Scoter Male

Surf Scoter Male

Surf Scoter

Surf Scoter

Long-tailed Duck Male and Female

Long-tailed Duck Male and Female

Long-tailed Duck Male

Long-tailed Duck Male

Grebe

Grebe

Cormorant

Cormorant

Immature Herring Gull

Immature Herring Gull

Trumpeter Swans at Willband Creek Park

Trumpeter Swans at Willband Creek Park

Great Blue Heron at Willband Creek Park

Great Blue Heron at Willband Creek Park

Ring-necked Duck at Willband Creek Park

Ring-necked Duck at Willband Creek Park

Scaup at Willband Creek Park

Scaup at Willband Creek Park

Scoter at Willband Creek Park

Scoter at Willband Creek Park

Bufflehead Female at Willband Creek Park

Bufflehead Female at Willband Creek Park

Tree Swallows at Willband Creek Park

Tree Swallows at Willband Creek Park

Song Sparrow at Willband Creek Park

Song Sparrow at Willband Creek Park

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

The moon was low and almost full during Wings Over Water. Jim loves the zoom power on his Nikon P900 for wildlife photography, and for anything else far away. Look at those craters!  

All photography in this post is by James Lawson Bush, 2019
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