David Hutchinson‘s view of a Great Blue Heron nesting on Pigeon Point gives wing to a warning as we start this gallery of bird photos contributed by West Seattle photographer/birdwatchers. The warning actually comes from Trileigh Tucker, along with this photo of a Killdeer:
She told us:
Yesterday’s low tide brought a nice encounter with a Killdeer, who posed for some portraits. But it also reminded me to ask folks to please be especially careful this time of year, on dry gravelly areas above high tide. From the sounds these killdeer were making, I could tell there was a nest nearby. (Photos are with a long zoom lens.) These nests are just shallow scrapes in gravel and very vulnerable to being accidentally kicked or purposefully harassed by crows and other predators. They can also be very difficult to see if you’re walking nearby.
So if people hear a Killdeer calling loudly, back off. And if you see one displaying its orange back and looking injured, it’s actually trying to distract you from a nearby nest—you should back far away as quickly as possible. Don’t try to “help” it.
The nesting alert covers many birds … whether you’re exploring the beach or the forest or doing work in a yard. Here’s a nesting Bushtit photographed by Mark Wangerin:
Back to shorebirds – here’s a Gull with a skate, photographed by Mark MacDonald at Alki:
Also with a snack, a Caspian Tern photographed by Kersti Muul:
She notes that the terns returned right on schedule, two weeks ago. (You’ve probably heard their raspy call.) Which leads us to another warning/reminder: As noted here on Friday night, it’s migration time for millions of birds. Tonight thousands are expected to fly over Seattle. Do them a favor and leave your outdoor lights off. As for the birds who are already here – Vlad Oustimovitch got a bird-bath visit from a Cooper’s Hawk:
Swimming in a somewhat larger body of water – Seola Pond – this baby waterfowl photographed by Jim Clark:
Seen in saltwater, Pigeon Guillemots – Lawrence Heeren sent the photo:
Two from Gentle McGaughey – a Bewick’s Wren:
And a Song Sparrow:
Also singing, a White-crowned Sparrow photographed by Cindy Roberts:
And last but by no means least, West Seattle’s famous Bald Eagle “Bey” demonstrating, as photographer Jerry Simmons described it, “air superiority”:
Thanks to everyone for continuing to share photos of local birds and other interesting sightings – email@example.com any time!