I wanted to put together some of my favorite pictures of the year - birds and places - so, in no particular order...
The falcon was one I had ID'd as a Peregrine initially, until I asked for an opinion and got "Merlin", then asked for another and got "Peregrine", then a lot of "Merlin", and... at this point I decided to leave it unidentified. How thick is that branch? How big is that bird? How long is its tail? All questions that aren't answered by the picture. I like how much I learned about falcons from the picture
A Common Merganser and Bufflehead at Gene Coulon Park in Renton. This was from early in the year, and I sometimes take it for granted how spoiled we are for ducks and gulls down at the end of Lake Washington.
Eurasian Wigeon, Nisqually NWR, Thurston County. An unusual bird that came unusually close back in February.
Northern Pintails, also from Coulon. I rarely get good shots of birds in flight, so I was happy with this shot. Didn't know what they were until I peeked at the picture!
Northern Shoveler, Ridgefield NWR - Clark County. Loved this shot. I mean... maybe one wing is a littttle higher than the other, but... otherwise, the gods of symmetry were smiling on me.
Wood Duck, Lewis County. The first time my son saw one of these, he just laughed and laughed at how colorful they are. Ridiculously colorful ducks!
Bald Eagle - San Juan Island. This was a very common scene during my visit there.
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, Wahkiakum County. Any time I get the eye in a shot, I like it. Puffed up bird, because of the cold, and also worth noting the lichen. I was surprised there was no lichen growing on me by the end of the trip - it was everywhere that day!
American Kestrel - Ridgefield NWR, Clark County. Not an uncommon sight to have some interesting bird on the signs at Ridgefield. I think there are a few dozen of a Vermillion Flycatcher that showed up there in the fall!