Trumpeter swans

I saw a tiny flock of very big white birds in flight the other day. There weren’t many but I found a group of trumpeter swans feeding on field stubble a few days later. The numbers here are minuscule compared to the flocks that stop in Washington’s Skagit Valley on their winter migration. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited.

Field and swans

They do a good job of keeping out of camera range. But in my opinion they do choose rather pretty surroundings.

January eagles 3

I was tickled to discover a new-to-me eagle’s nest near the Railroad Bridge. It’s conveniently located with a prime river view.

January eagles 2

I waited a long time to see if either eagle went out for a snack but they settled in…though they kept an eye out for opportunities.

Barn owl

It’s not often you get an opportunity to see a barn owl (tyto alba) up close and personal. They usually hunt in full darkness and fly close to the ground searching for its meals. They benefit farmers by eating rodents. Pretty gorgeous bird, isn’t it?

Belted kingfisher

Here’s another bird I don’t see nearly often enough: a belted kingfisher. These birds are found throughout Washington State, never far from water, where it hunts for food. If my bird book has guided me correctly, this is a female. Don’t you love that punk topknot?