Tim Boyer Photography

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birds of prey

Bird Quest 2014 #7

Bird PhotographyTim Boyer1 Comment
Sub Adult Bald eagle and seal carcass.
Sub Adult Bald eagle and seal carcass.

Out on the Washington Coast last weekend there were flocks of Dunlin and  Sanderlings as well as a few birds of prey.  On Friday when it was sunny we watched a group of sub-adult Bald Eagles take turns feeding on a seal carcass.

On Saturday morning from sunrise until about 9:00 AM there weren't too many clouds threatening to rain on us.  We drove the beaches looking for more eagles and hopefully a peregrine.  I  spotted this Merlin, the first one I've seen and photographed on the coast since March 2010.  It was exciting to be able to watch it for awhile.  They are so in-tune with their environment, constantly scanning the sky around them.  When I was watching it, I was glad not to be a small bird.

Merlin perched on driftwood, watching for the next meal to flyby.
Merlin perched on driftwood, watching for the next meal to flyby.

Continuing norhtward we finally found a Peregrine Falcon.  This is a first year female, and has the band "Z2" on it. The peregrine was banded by Coastal Raptors a research, education and conservation non-profit banding birds on the Washignton Coast.

Peregrine Falcon watching the Dunlin as well as humans on the Washington Coast.
Peregrine Falcon watching the Dunlin as well as humans on the Washington Coast.

It was a fun weekend on the coast, and I was happy to  see peregrines and  Merlins again!

Enjoy!

Good birding!

Tim

Birding/Photo Project 2013

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

Peregrines eat carrion and cough up pellets! Until this weekend I thought of Peregrines as these fast, powerful and deadly hunters of the sky.  Well they are all that and more. Monday I watched as a peregrine banded WZ cough up two pellets, and Tuesday and Wednesday I watch peregrine K6 feed on the remains of a washed up Great Blue Heron.  

Peregrine Falcon banded K6 feeding on a Great Blue Heron carcass.  K6 filled up his crop twice on Tuesday.
Peregrine Falcon banded K6 feeding on a Great Blue Heron carcass. K6 filled up his crop twice on Tuesday.

In this image you can actually see the bulging crop of K6, while it stands on the Great Blue Heron remains.

Peregrine Falcon K6 shaking off the rain and the Great Blue Heron it was feeding on.
Peregrine Falcon K6 shaking off the rain and the Great Blue Heron it was feeding on.

The falcons I photographed were banded, and are part of the research of  Coastal Raptors a non-profit group doing research, education and  conservation on Washington State's coastal raptor population.  The organization is run by Dan Varland, and  their website is:  http://www.coastalraptors.org.  

Peregrine Falcon banded WZ in the process of a wing stretch.
Peregrine Falcon banded WZ in the process of a wing stretch.

Another view of WZ, which is also the peregrine featured in the Coastal Raptors logo.

Peregrine Falcon WZ alert to any movement in our car as we watched and photographed it.
Peregrine Falcon WZ alert to any movement in our car as we watched and photographed it.
Adult Bald Eagle flying up the beach.
Adult Bald Eagle flying up the beach.
Northern Shoveler at The Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.
Northern Shoveler at The Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.

Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and  Norther Shoveler brings my total photographed bird species to 79 so far this year.  While my goal of 500 is starting to seem a little overly ambitious, in reality I'm reaching my goal of learning more about birds and getting out more to photograph them.