Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Olympic Peninsula Nat. Park Beach Birds


Early mourning at Ruby Beach, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012.
Keeping my theme of Coastlines along the Pacific shore of the Olympic Peninsula National Park, today I post pics from our couple of hikes to two more Beach locations.  Yesterday and the last couple of weeks I featured bird pics from Kalaloch Beach. Today I feature Ruby Beach and Second Beach, both just up the coast from Kalaloch.  The marine layer was thick over Ruby beach; therefore visibility was poor and birding came at a premium. But as the sun rose higher in the east, it cast a Nice pinkish glow on the Western fog (Above).
The Northwestern Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Ruby Beach, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012.
One of my lucky finds was in the Ruby Beach Parking Lot.  I saw a small congregation of birds in a spruce tree chattering and flitting about. Even though the beach itself was socked in by the fog, the Parking Lot was more than 50% in the sun, as a large hole in the mist opened up.  It turned out that this flock was of Chestnut-backed Chickadees (Above), which were a nice new addition to my Life List. In the Midwest where I am from all we have are the Black-capped variety (Below). Chestnut-backs are slightly smaller than the black-caps, but were just as lively flitting from branch to branch and from tree to tree in high energetic bursts. Except for their reddish brown backs and scapulars, and more reddish underneath (Black-Caps are more buffy yellowish underneath), their faces are almost identical with black caps and throats.
The Midwestern Black-capped Chickadee, Espenscheid Forest Preserve, Cherry Valley, IL; 5/26/2012.
After leaving the fogged-in Ruby beach, we tried our luck further up the Olympic coast in the LaPush area, and hiked out to Second Beach.  The hike out to Second Beach started in bright sun, but as we neared the Beach we could see rolls of mist pouring through the trees of the forested trail (Below).
Misty sun rays pour through the Forest of the Second Beach Trail, LaPush, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012.

Second Beach, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012.

When we arrived on the Beach, the fog and sun were basically divided by the coastline. The foggy marine layer stretched parallel with the shore while the blue sunny sky lit up the forest (Above). It was like being in two weather patterns simultaneously, which made for some interesting photo compositions (More below).
Misty Trees on Second Beach, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012.
The same misty tree silhouettes as seen through some driftwood roots on Second Beach, LaPush, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012. 

A back lit Stellar's jay on the forested trail leading to Second Beach, LaPush, Olympic Peninsula National Park, WA; 8/3/2012. 
Even the few bird photographs I took had a misty quality to them, as is the Stellar's Jay that wouldn't cooperate and land in better light for a portrait. but as it turned out, I ended up liking the back lit Jay.

Other birds that I observed in the misty forest (with no notable pics) were: American Crows, American Robin, Cedar Waxwings, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Common Ravens, Downy Woodpeckers, Oregon Juncos, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Stellar Jays, Northern Red-Shafted Flickers, White-crowned Sparrows and Song Sparrows.

1 comment:

~Val said...

Wow - some REALLY cool photos in this set!!