Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Fine Day in the Skagit: Conclusion

Our last stop on the Skagit Valley birding and photography outing last Sunday was "the West 90", a spot known to birders as a good place to see Short-eared Owls.  It's pretty much the fields around where Bayview-Edison Road meets Samish Island Road.

As we drove along Bayview-Edison, we pulled over for another flock of Dunlin:

And just to admire the views:

A Rough-legged Hawk turned up, flying from telephone pole to pole.

Then it flew far away -- and I managed to get a shot with the mountains in the background:

At the Samish Island Road junction, we parked, got out, walked about twenty feet out to view the fields, and a Short-eared Owl immediately turned up.  Very accommodating!  Though it stayed far off, and never came in close enough for a clear photograph.  So here are the blurry "zoomed out as far as my souped-up little point-and-shoot can go" shots:

Finally, we got a bonus bird -- a Northern Shrike flew in and landed on a fence post, posing ever so nicely:


We admired the views a bit more....

...and then we headed back to Seattle.  It was a long day (9-4!), a full day, and a fabulous day of great birds, beautiful scenery and perfect weather.  We can't wait to get back up there!


  1. Great photos as always Alex. I'd like to know what your souped-up little point-and-shoot camera is as I cannot take a decent photo, normal, zoom, close-up with my Lumix, very frustrating. I have been checking out all sorts to try to find something simple that takes a decent photo and it looks like you have it. Pray tell. While I am garnering information from the great artiste, what pencils do you use for your sketching? Since I enjoy your sketcing and photography so much I guess it's about time I read one of your books. At the moment, as I have started reading again, I have two to read at the moment and I have seven more coming in the post, all fiction. Thanks Alex.

  2. I use a Canon Powershot SX60 HS camera, though I actually prefer (and recommend over the 60) the previous model, the SX50. They're both good but the SX50 had a better viewfinder, if you ask me.

    For sketching I use Sakura Micron waterproof ink pens, and Faber-Castell water-soluble colored pencils, although lately I've been preferring straight watercolor paints. I have a small travel palette with about a dozen colors, and use a waterbrush with them.

    If you do get around to reading one of my books, the fantasy novel is easier to find as it's still in print. There may be used copies of the mystery novel around but do NOT get the audio version available on amazon -- the actor they chose to do the reading is DREADFUL!

    And you're most welcome, Molly!

  3. It's too bad you didn't get to see those huge flocks of snow geese as per usual, but you certainly did have a fine day of it. The owl shots were pretty darn good even if they were a tad blurry.