washington

:Tag: washington

Welcome Home, Seattle Ducks!

I spotted my first migratory ducks on the urban shores of Elliott Bay last week. The new arrivals are on edge -- wary and easy to flush. Lifting my lens is enough to send them skittering to the middle of the bay, and I can only imagine what sights and sounds have jarred them into high alert on their long journey home. I think of how far the winter ducks soar, finally dipping into [...]

2019-02-01T01:56:38+00:00November 15th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Gull Chicks and Gateway Birds

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]

2019-02-01T02:37:15+00:00August 1st, 2013|@Popular Posts, Blog|22 Comments

Faces of the 18th Weir

They sit suspended at the 18th weir, these scaled faces in the sockeye crowd. It's the window to their water world, the portal from ocean to stream to lake, where their gills remember the taste of fresh after years in the salty sea -- and where they lead -- at least in part -- by magnetic memories of the gravel beds where they were born. They're surging forward across the solstice and into summer [...]

2019-02-01T05:43:48+00:00July 1st, 2013|Blog|4 Comments

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2019-02-01T05:57:50+00:00June 20th, 2013|Blog|23 Comments

A Pelagic Housewarming Gift

I should stop making excuses for shooting in damp, dark conditions. It is, after all, the Pacific Northwest. But, well ... I was shooting in damp, dark conditions, standing on the car deck of a Washington State Ferry at Anacortes, in an ISO 5000 drizzle. Hugh -- who's become a better bird spotter than I am -- pointed to the air traffic around the nearby terminal pilings. It was Pelagic Cormorant mania -- a [...]

2019-02-01T06:17:02+00:00June 9th, 2013|Blog|3 Comments

Great Blue Resilience

A few weeks ago, I walked by the Great Blue Heron rookery a short distance from our place. I expected to see the six or eight heron couples, draped over their nests in anticipation of egg hatching ... or maybe even the first raspy calls of young chicks rustling in the alders. Instead, this is who came my way. Heron + Branch - ©ingridtaylar And then another Great Blue, bearing the sign [...]

2019-01-30T21:35:26+00:00June 6th, 2013|Blog|12 Comments

The Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR

In springtime every year, Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State becomes a haven for hundreds of thousands of shorebirds making their way north to breeding grounds. For a few weeks in late April and early May, enormous flocks settle on the mud flats of the Refuge, feeding and restoring themselves in the midst of their long migration. The Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival celebrates the birds’ return every year, and gives Refuge visitors [...]

2019-02-01T20:58:32+00:00May 28th, 2013|Blog|9 Comments

Birds Flying High … You Know How I Feel

[My homage to Nina Simone, in the form of blurred wings and texturized Dunlins.] click for larger image - ©ingridtaylar When thousands of shorebirds frolic on the mire, their wingbeats rattle like seashells strung in the wind ... just the lightest of chimes, near silent except for the rush of air over 15,000 pairs of wings. They become a coil, spiraling sometimes at 40 miles per hour into shape shifters, turning their plumage [...]

2013-04-29T23:32:06+00:00April 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

She, the Fusiform One

"She" could be a "he," this harbor seal, and only she knows -- stirring from the depths and shallows of Elliott Bay, gliding, reflected alongside us. She rounds the rock bend ... she, the fusiform one, tapered and sleek ... propelled through the tide by hind flippers. Harbor Seal - ©ingridtaylar In a pinniped world where there's no strong, visible distinction* between she and her male, I err on the side of feminist [...]

2013-03-15T02:04:37+00:00March 15th, 2013|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|1 Comment

City Bird, Winter Light

Photographed at Union Bay Natural Area in Seattle • Olympus E-3 + Zuiko 50-200mm + EC14 I'm tracking, with my lens, a Yellow-rumped Warbler who's bouncing around her kingdom. She stops then hops, as warblers often do. And, for a split second, she clears the branches and looks back at me, bearing the criss-cross shadows of her woods: Yellow-rumped Warbler at UBNA - ©ingridtaylar A warning croak in my left ear signals an [...]

2013-03-05T12:21:20+00:00March 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments

The Red-Winged Way

The Red-Wing Blackbird The wild red-wing black- bird croaks frog- like though more shrill as the beads of his head blaze over the swamp and the odors of the swamp vodka to his nostrils ~ William Carlos Williams I notice spring birds before spring buds ... and just the other day, the Red-winged Blackbirds were vocalizing their intent over a Kirkland swamp. In my periphery I saw the crimson flashes of male birds flitting between [...]

2013-03-01T16:06:39+00:00March 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Studies in Ghost Geese

The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way: The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the birds graze, punctuated by escalations that bubble up in sections of the flock. Then, there is the silence — a [...]

2013-02-11T01:32:56+00:00February 11th, 2013|Photography, Uncategorized|5 Comments

Everything’s Coming Up Snowy

Edited to add: Originally, I posted the location of where we hiked to see the Snowy Owls. It's fairly common knowledge around Washington, but I suffered post-blogging pangs about revealing the location of a popular species like a Snowy Owl. After chatting with a wildlife photographer I dearly respect, I've decided to remove those references. Last year, I witnessed the frenzy and ethical breaches surrounding the Snowy Owl irruption, and my general policy is to [...]

2013-01-21T21:20:46+00:00January 21st, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|20 Comments

10,000 Crows and Counting

This is what it looks (and feels) like when you're standing under 10,000+ crows, coming home to roost. I shot the video well after dusk, so I had to crank exposure up in iMovie, causing pixel issues. Still ... you'll get the idea. This occurs every dusk in Bothell, Washington, when crows from Seattle, Snohomish and other parts in between fly to their nightly roost. I had never seen a roost of this magnitude, and [...]

2013-01-02T17:00:29+00:00January 2nd, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|16 Comments

Welcome, 2013~! We’ve Been Waiting For You.

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." ~ Bill Vaughn I stay up for both. Happy New Year, my blog friends! Thank you for enriching my life with your own photos, writings and conversations. I learn from your talent, I'm inspired by your works, and I grow through your understandings and perspectives. I cherish the relationships we've [...]

2013-01-01T01:41:17+00:00January 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Something Spawning This Way Comes

Last year at this time, I wrote about the salmon journeying upstream to their Washington spawning grounds: Salmon are a miracle of navigational skills, sometimes migrating thousands of miles during their years in the ocean, possibly guided by magnestism in the same way homing pigeons navigate with help of the earth’s magnetic fields. Then, salmon ultimately find their way to their birthplace by an imprinted sense of smell: the scent of plants, gravel, [...]

2012-10-11T15:29:14+00:00October 11th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Swifty Monroe

It doesn't just happen in Monroe ... but we took a spontaneous trip to Monroe where it does happen. Vaux's Swifts, up and down their migration corridor, appropriate chimneys for their nightly roosting ritual. In the Bay Area, the Healdsburg swift event was one of those things I'd always meant to attend but never did. So, when I saw mention of the swifts on our local birding list, I coaxed Hugh out to Monroe with [...]

2012-09-20T15:33:03+00:00September 20th, 2012|Birds|8 Comments

Steam as Bird Backdrop

My affection for wildlife in urban and industrial settings brings me the subject of steam. There are obviously a lot of distracting elements in urban photography. Although I lean toward a photojournalistic style of realism when I encounter them, I also find it challenging to show the grit of these scenes while retaining some aesthetic and balance in the shot. That's when I'm shooting wider, contextual shots. For closeups, even in the city grind, I [...]

2012-09-08T15:24:49+00:00September 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Lake Union House + Boats

Photograph: Panasonic TZ5 (point and shoot), 15sec, f3.3, ISO100 On a Seattle night, with stars cloaked in stratocumlus clouds, when the only sight is a wisp of a rowing scull slithering under the University Bridge, the houseboats sit reflected and polished in the waters of Lake Union. I shot this near Eastlake, on Portage Bay, one of several houseboat locations around Seattle. What was once a community of floating homes in the thousands, [...]

2012-08-31T09:44:12+00:00August 31st, 2012|Uncategorized, Urban|4 Comments

Up-Terned

I'm shooting within a five-mile radius these days, trying to get my photographic fix as I'm on my way to or from something else ... on sunny days, interspersed with Seattle rain. Fortunately, within those five miles, there are three nesting Osprey couples, one Bald Eagle pair, many more Great Blue Herons in their rookery, and at least 300

2012-05-21T18:39:28+00:00May 21st, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments