Western wood-pewee

Lake Wenatchee, WA
Lake Wenatchee, WA

I like trying to catch photos of birds I see. Then comes trying to identify the bird. It feels like a minor triumph when I think I’ve succeeded. But sometimes the fun part is just learning its name. “Western wood-pewee.” Or “pewee” to you.

Ok. If you want to get proper and formal it’s “Contopus sordidulus.” Where’s the fun in that?

Cedar waxwings

Cedar waxwing 2

Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) have to be one of the prettier birds in this area. They have a soft, tawny brown color with black masks around their eyes.

Cedar waxwings

Right now these birds are a favorite because during this part of summer they feed on insects. A large group of them perch in this tree and constantly hunt mosquitoes in a marshy area of Dungeness Recreation Area. These shots were taken on two different evenings as we watched them hunt.

They’ve had plenty of mosquitoes to eat this year. Go, waxwings!

June eagle

Eagle and snag

Another test drive for my little Lumix camera. It zooms pretty well but the crops aren’t all I’d hope for.

Ok. I’ll admit it. I’ve only printed up about half the Lumix manual and studying it on a screen just doesn’t do it for me. And you’d think I’d have learned this lesson from decades of college test stress dreams: you can’t learn a darned thing if you don’t attempt to study.

Woodpecker

Sun Lakes State Park
Sun Lakes State Park

We didn’t spend a lot of time at Sun Lakes State Park looking for wildlife. But there was a bird persistently chirping and hopping from branch to branch as we sat near a lake. As far as I can tell this is a woodpecker, probably a downy woodpecker, but I’m a rank amateur when it comes to birds.

I did readily identify other wildlife. Mosquitoes. Swarms of them, following us. They even came out of our trailer cabinet a day or two after we left Sun Lakes. It was like Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds” on a miniature level.

Savannah sparrow

Savannah sparrow

Another thing I like about this time of year is that the songbirds are back. Their music fills the air. This little Pavarotti held a lovely concert the other evening. (The zoom on my new camera is great but this shot isn’t as steady and sharp as I’d like.)

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” David Attenborough