After work on Friday, we went for a hike at the Friday Harbor Labs. Down along the shoreline a friend showed us a little spot we hadn't visited before, where under a creek flowing over the edge of a rocky cliff there are some maidenhair ferns, the first time I've ever seen this species of fern on the island. Nearby, there were numerous little orange snails in the seaweed, another sight I haven't ever come across on the island. Looking in my intertidal book it looks like there are several likely options for what it could be, so I won't speculate here as to the species:
On our walk back, we heard some strange noises that I thought sounded suspiciously owl-like. Sure enough, a moment later we got a brief glimpse of a barred owl (100), not a bad species to take the one hundredth spot on the year bird list.
Yesterday I went down to Fourth of July Beach to do a COASST bird survey, and in the meantime hoped I would also see a shorebird species or two. Did I ever hit the jackpot! There were five shorebird species there: black-bellied plover (101), sanderling (102), dunlin (103), black turnstone (104), and surfbird (105). I saw a small flock of the first three species, then just before I left another larger flock flew in with more plovers, dunlin, and the turnstones and surfbirds. I was even able to get a photo with all five year birds in the same frame!
|Blue = dunlin, orange = black turnstone, yellow = sanderling, green = surfbird, pink = black-bellied plover|
This one shows four of them a little better - dunlin on the left with a black turnstone in front, then a surfbird by itself, then a black-bellied plover with another dunlin behind it:
I also noticed in my photos that one of the dunlin had a couple of bands on the legs (green and red on the left leg of the left dunlin). I wonder what this bird's story is?
Here's a black-bellied plover with a flock of dunlin:
On my way home the rain returned, but I couldn't resist pulling over to take a portrait of this guy: