Sunday, January 2, 2011

One county down...

Got out this morning and poked around Renton a little bit.  Since I'm visiting all of the counties, and getting pictures as I go, I wanted to make sure to include some of my favorite things in Renton, so here's the library.  I love that it's built over the Cedar River.  Also warms my heart to think of all of the books purchased with my overdue fines...

Olympic Range from Gene Coulon Memorial Park


Also...Bufflehead and Common Merganser

Gene Coulon Memorial Park is also one of my favorite places in the city.  It sits on the very southern end of Lake Washington, it's pretty ducky, and there's great play equipment for the kiddos.  This morning, as I arrived, I caught the resident flock of Greater White-fronted Geese leaving - thirty of them leaving in a ragged line.  Canada Geese, Mallards, Coots and a single Pied-Billed Grebe were in the little swimming area in front of the beach. 

Greater Scaup? Lesser Scaup?
I walked out from the play area to Bird Island, and had a nice view of the Olympics, as well as a fair number of water birds: Horned Grebe, Northern Shoveler, Common Goldeneye and Double-crested Cormorant.   I like looking at ducks.  They usually stay right where you can see them.  Some of them dive, but they come back up, and they don't hide up in branches like so many birds do. They're also uuusssually easy to identify, although below I have a picture of one that I am going to just look at a bit more before I call it.  It's either a Greater or Lesser Scaup.  Almost identical, but the head shape is a little different between them.  Also shot some ducks flying overhead and found that they were Northern Pintails!

Northern Pintails flying overhead

Not a great picture... I just like that there are 10+ Great Blue Herons here,
and that the Boeing building is in the background.  Being around Boeing
buildings with binoculars and cameras can sometimes arouse suspicion, by the way.
Coulon is one of several natural areas in the county where this can be learned.

With Red-Tailed Hawk on the way home, I ended up at 43 species seen in the county, with two shortish trips.  I hope the rest end up being as easy!  Later in the day, I had an errand to run in Auburn and found seven more (Wester Scrub-Jay, Cackling Goose, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Killdeer, Golden-crowned Sparow, and White-Crowned Sparrow) in a field near Emerald Downs to make it a nice even 50 in King County for the year. 

Ring-billed Gull

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