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10/22/18 - Seen Near Dungeness Dike

This hawk seems to be a regular with a favorite perching tree off Towne Road in Sequim.

Watching the wetlands

Keywords: dungeness, birds


05/16/17 - San Francisco, Third Day

On our third day in San Francisco, we decided to resume our hike near where we had turned around the previous day. We took a cab to the Golden Gate Bridge visitor center and headed south. We ignored the warning about the trail being closed and headed down towards the Pacific along a surprisingly wild section of the trail. There were steps and boardwalks, and we seemed to be in a wilderness miles from any city.

If the signs had been right about the trail being closed, we would have had to backtrack, but we really wanted to hike this stretch. As it turned out, the trail was damaged, and technically closed, but as a number of hikers informed us, actually open. There was a well worn track around the barriers blocking the closed section of the trail. We joined the outlaws and continued our hike to Baker Beach.

We made it all the way down to Land's End where we hailed a Lyft car to get us back to our hotel. Lyft has made a real difference. One time we took a taxi back, and it took half an hour to get a ride. Another time we took a bus back, and it took 45 minutes for the 20 minute ride across town. San Francisco has a horrible bus system with stops every block or two. No wonder companies like Google are running their own bus systems here.


One of the many hummingbirds enjoying the weather

A view from the coast

Another view, south

The Golden Gate Bridge again, in one of its many aspects

A view of our favorite part of the trail

Yet another view of the trail and points south

Cormorants on one of the rocks

A view of the Pacific

Scud on Baker Beach

Good grief, yet another view of that San Francisco landmark

A peek into the city

Keywords: birds, san francisco


01/22/17 - Some Birds of the Season

Despite the cold winter, or perhaps because of it, we've been seeing a number of interesting birds as we make our usual rounds.

A hummingbird on a rose hip in our backyard

An eagle at the Dungeness Dike

Some Dungeness Dike scenery

Another eagle

We've been seeing a lot of these guys

The Dungeness River

Dungeness skies

Swans dropping by, interspersed with ducks

The swans just love this field

We haven't looked this guy up yet. Note the orange cheek patches.

Across the way, the Elwha River

Keywords: birds, winter


12/12/16 - Swans on Towne Road

The swans were back on Towne Road, or rather, on one of the fields next to Towne Road in Sequim. We had to stop and take a good look. They are one of the great pleasures of the winter season.

From a distance

Closer

A veritable plethora of them

It's sort of a rest stop for them.

More swans

Keywords: birds, winter


01/19/16 - Chicken Fest

Some friends of friends have been raising chickens in the Puyallup area and had a freezer full of them. As happens in Kaleberg Kountry we became the proud owners to two nicely dressed birds. One weighed a mere three pounds and some while the other weighed in at a hefty seven pounds. This called for Chicken Fest, a festival of fowl.

We prepared the birds two different ways. The small bird we spit turned in our little rotisserie and the large bird we prepared following Edna Lewis' recipe for roasting a large stuffed chicken. We and our friends at Chicken Fest had to admit that both preparations of the birds were delicious. It helped that they were the good old fashioned birds, chickens that actually tasted like chicken. Good ingredients are half the battle.

We also found a lobe of duck foie gras in our freezer, so we declared ducks to be honorary chickens and had them join the festival. Preparing foie gras is sometimes a chore with tedious mechanics and a sloshing bain-marie, but we finessed all that with our sous-vide which turned the lobe into a luxurious terrine in less than an hour.


The big chicken

The little chicken

The honorary chicken

Keywords: birds, ducks


03/26/15 - Down by the Strait

We haven't been going far lately. Here are some waxwings down by the Strait along the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Some waxwings

Another

Down by the Strait

Keywords: birds


04/30/13 - The Dungeness Dike

The Dungeness Dike Trail has its trailhead along a pretty stretch of Towne Road, not far from the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse. It's a pretty tame walk, but it offers spectacular mountain views. The trail follows the river, as it is a dike, and there are side trails that lead down to the river proper. We saw a few adult bald eagles flying around the fields, possibly a mated pair, and, by the river, we saw a group of three young bald eagles who posed for photos.

It's like something produced by the Swiss National Tourist Board.

Welcome to Switzerland.

The Dungeness Dike Trail

The Dungeness River

Two young eagles

A third young eagle

Another view of the river

The blue sky

California poppies

Keywords: dungeness dike trail, spring, birds, eagle


01/31/13 - Dungeness Spit - Let The Good Tides Roll

We're having some good tides at Dungeness Spit this winter. For example, there was a low tide below three feet around 12:30 today, and there was a lot of sand on the beach which made for easy walking. We saw a few eagles, a number of sea birds and the usual assortment of kelpies, that is, blobs of kelp that look like sea birds. There is another round of good tides coming up in mid-February, around Valentine's Day in fact, so we'll be watching our tide tables and hoping for good weather.









Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, tides, winter, eagle


05/30/11 - Dungeness Spit Update

It was a five foot tide, not exactly low, but the beach was surprisingly walkable. There was lots of sand, and the sand was firm, so we walked for a couple of miles, bird watching and beachcombing.

One of the eagles we saw

The view out

A dried starfish

Two mystery birds - Our bird atlas is no help.

Lush green along the redone trail to the spit

Keywords: dungeness spit, birds, eagle


03/16/11 - A Gathering of Eagles

The trees were full of bald eagles at the Dungeness Dike Trail. There were at least eight, more likely a dozen of them. Was it the season? The river in flood? We had seen a couple in one of the trees along Towne Road, but the spotting was even better along the dike itself.

A Bald Eagle

Another Bald Eagle

There's scenery too (and probably bald eagles in those trees).

Keywords: dungeness dike trail, birds, eagle


12/13/10 - Winter Eagles

While we aren't the biggest fans of winter, we do like the way it reveals things. Most of the trees around here keep their leaves, but there are enough deciduous trees so that the forest seems to open up for the season. There are all sorts of things hidden in the canopy, like this eagle nest near the Dungeness River, shown with its two proud owners.

Keywords: dungeness, winter, birds, eagle


03/05/10 - Dungeness Spit - The Rocks Are Back

We took advantage of the good tides and sunny weather to hike along Dungeness Spit. The tide was low, but the beach was rocky, with a lot of erosion. We've walked the spit when it was worse, but it was rough going.

We also noticed a bird survey team. They puttered along in one of the beach jitneys. Then they'd stop, lug their spotting scope up to the refuge border and take notes for a while. The outside of the spit is for us walkers, but the inside is for the wild birds who breed there. This is just as well. As rough going as the beach was, the going looked even rougher on the other side.


The bird surveyors

The view out

The view back

Keywords: birds, dungeness spit, tides


02/04/10 - Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit is not always an easy hike. The tides vary by eight feet in a typical day, and during high tide the beach is not only small, but rocky. In the winter it is worse. Not only are there fewer good tides, but the winter tides often wash out the sand, so even at low tide, it can be rough going.

This year, however, is a good year for hiking the Dungeness Spit. The beach is broad and sandy, so it is easy to avoid all the rocky patches. The strait is full of seabirds, loons, scoters, cormorants and many others beyond our limited identification skills. Oh yes, there are eagles, lots of eagles. There's no point in waiting for spring to hike the Dungeness Spit. It's good walking even now, and, as a bonus, the Indian plum is already in bloom.


An eagle

Dungeness Spit

Indian plum in bloom

Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, spring, tides, winter, eagle


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