cool birding moment
March 7, 2016
I’ve just gotten back from a trip — I spent a few days at Lake Quinault in Washington at the Rainforest Writers Retreat. I got quite a bit of writing done — 7500 words on the new novel. Did not get quite as much hiking done as I wanted — it rained probably 80% of the time. Which I expected, so ah well. They don’t call it a rainforest for nothing. But it just so happened the window of my room overlooked the lake and some of the water birds obligingly hung out nearby so I could get a good look at them.
One of these moments made me feel like I actually knew what I was doing as a birdwatcher. It was kind of a birdwatching conundrum, if you will. There was a small flock of four duck-like birds hanging out on the water. Two of them had light bodies and dark heads, two of them were brown. Two different species. However, three of the birds were one species and one of them was a different species. So what was going on?
Three of the birds were common mergansers, two female — the two brown birds — and one was male — light body, dark head.
The fourth bird, also with a light body and dark head, was a lesser scaup.
I realize this is a super high level of nerdiness, but I was just so pleased with myself for sorting out the flock and confidently ID-ing them all.
I’ll try to post pictures from the weekend later on. The Olympic National Forest and Park really are magnificent. I’d never been and I want to go back, and get out to the coast, which I didn’t do this time.