Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Edmonds wildlife

I like walking and although mountains were my first love I have preferred beaches for the past maybe ten years. I have never seen a beach on fresh water that you could walk, so this is strictly salt water. We live near Lake Washington. But in less than ten miles I can be walking at Richmond Beach in Shoreline, Carkeek Park in Seattle or Olympic Beach in Edmonds. I get to Richmond Beach and Edmonds once a week when I am in town.

Edmonds is very urban and Olympic Beach is only a few blocks long. But there is much more: from its north end and north of the ferry terminal Brackett's Landing Park is paved walking and a beach runs north - I have walked about a half mile north to the next creek. And the walk south, though paved, is along the marina then to Marina Beach park and an off-leash beach for dogs.

Wildlife: Edmonds has all the saltwater front and some first-class marshes. So there is a great variety.

Heermann's gulls are striking gulls. At a glance in flight they look like little bald eagles - white head and dark body. But, of course, they have the unmistakable gull shape and don't have the white tail of a bald eagle. According to Edmonds beach rangers Edmonds is the farthest south in Puget Sound they are found. They don't walk the beach; they stay along the end of the fishing pier and beyond.

Sitting in my car paying bills in one of the three parking spaces facing the water I heard shrill sea-gull calls and a mature bald eagle came flying at me, first ten then twenty feet off the ground with two sea gulls in chase.

After a 30-minute walk during a lucky interval between heavy rain, back at Olympic Beach, as I returned from the fishing pier I saw a harbor seal in very close - very shallow water. Then I looked out and the bald eagle was on a piling 200 feet away.

Photo from TGrey Birds. Click to enlarge.

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