Our first stop was, of course, the Montlake Fill, which I walked all the way around without taking a single photo! Why? Because there were no birds posing for me! Even the rafts of wintering-over waterfowl on the lake were hiding. There were a few Trumpeter Swans WAY out by the log boom, but even with the zoom all the way up to 1200, they would have been just white blobs.
Still, it was a pleasant walk. Afterwards, I was not ready to head home, although Truman was. Instead, I forced him to go to the University Bookstore. I wanted to test out my fabulous new privilege as a UW retiree: FREE PARKING. I showed my brand-new UW Retiree ID badge to the gatehouse attendant, and she handed me a "RETIREE - NO CHARGE" sticker and said I could park ANYWHERE on campus for as long as I liked. Normally this costs $15 a day! Whee!
I parked by the Burke Museum which is just across the street from the bookstore. Sweet.
Here is Truman giving me his "WHY ARE WE HERE AND NOT HOME" expression.
After visiting with our favorite clerk there, and picking up a copy of Bill Bryson's latest humorous travel memoir, The Road to Little Dribbling, we headed off back to the UW campus. It was still pleasant out, with a temp in the low 50s, and I was hungry, so I stopped at a bench to eat the sandwich I'd brought along. I also had my sketch supplies, and the statue of George Washington beckoned.
Here is Truman giving me his "WHY ARE WE HERE AND NOT HOME" expression while I eat and sketch.
Well, as I headed out, it occurred to me that instead of my usual route home, I could take the alternate route which is a little longer but goes past Magnuson Park...where I could check on the duck ponds...so I did.
And am I happy about that, because in the entire eight years I've been serious about birding, I have never taken a photo of a Green-winged Teal that made me happy. There was a splendid Green-winged Teal paddling serenely around a pond, being extremely photogenic. Hurrah!
We also saw some Ring-necked Ducks:
Check out this female doing a bit of preening while her nictitating eye membrane is still down:
Then we headed down to the lake for a short walk along the promenade. Here is Truman gazing wistfully back towards the parking lot, wondering WHY ARE WE HERE AND NOT HOME?
Well, what can I say? It was NICE out! It was relatively WARM out! You have to make the most of these opportunities when you can!
We were out for four hours, and it was fabulous. As soon as we got home, Truman dashed to his post by the front window, announced to the neighborhood that he was back, and then curled up and went to sleep. He was happy at last.