Sunday, April 18, 2010
A Paradise for Birds
Tom and I again visited the University of Washington's wetlands restoration area. We saw a lot of coots again-- the notice board mentioned that someone observed a red-tailed hawk killing and eating a coot yesterday-- but swifts, a wide assortment of ducks, a blue heron in flight, two kinds of turtles, and--- most fascinating-- a pelagic cormorant. We watched the latter for a long time, as it fished and ate its catch. I don't think I've ever heard so many different birds singing and calling at once. I was amused to see that one bird's square, fan-like tail flipped every time it sounded its single note. (I've no idea what bird that was: I really must get a book!)
I found the turtles a little curious. They weren't just lazing in the sun. Some of them, probably, were catching bugs. One (see the second photo) had its legs dangling in the water. And as I watched, one jumped off the log and apparently swam away, perhaps hoping for something better in the water. But what, exactly, were the ones piggy-backed together doing?