Sunday we found out that once you know where the Owls are you really don't have to sneak around and strain to find them 300 ft. away in a field with a long range scope. They seem to hang around just off the dyke in "Parliaments" up at Boundary Bay, British Columbia - Canada!
Wish we had a better camera to do them justice.
We saw "25"!
People from all over came to take their photos.
Some of our photos from the day - just click on them to make them larger!
We started out on a rather gloomy, dark, drizzly day. Marine park where we started is the ending place for the annual Ski to Sea that takes place here in Whatcom county in May, on that day it's usually sunny and filled with hundreds of people watching the kayak leg of the relay come across the bay. As you can see today it was a lonely place.
12 of us followed the city trail from Marine park that follows a gravel trail through the forest, in Fairhaven.
We had to do some urban walking before we connected back onto a trail. This time the interurban.
It was nice to be on this long straight stretch and see how the trail is so wide that it looks like a highway through the woods.
We continued to the Arroyo park overlook where we turned around.
On the way back "Pat" our leader wanted to hike a bit in the Chuckanut ridge area, since the city had purchased it and wanted to check it out. There were quite a few trails in that area as well as many tents where homeless people had set up places to live.
Parts of the area were pretty muddy. Yes, these two had on white shoes. Hmmm.........
Just before we left the trail near Marine park I spotted this plaque in the grass. It says "Site of the Chinese bunk house". I knew that in the 1800's the Chinese came and worked in the large cannery in Fairhaven, but wasn't aware that there were historical plaques in the ground. I wish it had been better signed and had more information for tourists. I thought it was interesting.
Just one of the many trail signs on the city trail system.
Eight months later and I'm finally hiking with the Trailblazers again. Well, kindof ;-) I decided that my start of hiking with an organized group again should be with the "other" Trailblazers group, or as I will call them "Group 1". Group 2 starts an hour later, 9 am (yippee!) than the group I used to hike with (or as they shall now be called on my blog "Group 1", and I've been told that they hike shorter distances and at a more comfortable pace than Group 1. Until I get my calf stronger I will be hiking with Group 1. So nice to be hiking with a group again, and as I found with Group 1, very nice friendly people. I picked today's hike because it was going to be fairly short and flat. It said on the schedule it would be 4 miles & easy. 12 of us started at the Cleater rd. parking lot and hiked to Clayton beach and back.
The hike started on the Interurban trail, then to the Clayton beach parking lot and the all important outhouse. We crossed the road to join up with the trail again.
our fearless leader "Pat"
We had to cross the railroad tracks to connect with the beach trail again.
after lunch it decided it really did want to rain, so on with the poncho!
Great to be back at it!!
5.27 total miles hiked
Min. altitude 0 feet
Max. altitude 327 feet
Total ascent 1981
Total descent 1830
My husband and I decided that we would get serious this last weekend about finding Snowy owls that were supposed to be in our area, so Friday we went toSkagit Wildlife area .The photo below of me is at the end of the trail at the Skagit Wildlife area. The photo above is my husband looking through our scope at Fir Island. The weather even cooperated, it was a beautiful February weekend!
(just click on the photo's to see them larger)
Two Bald eagles with their large nest.
I had read that there were Snowy owls at Big ditch so armed with directions we drove there Saturday A.M.
Saturday P.M. we decided to watch the movie "The big year" about birding. The big year - is an event where birders try to find as many different birds in one year as they can. The stars are: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson. It didn't get great reviews, but we really enjoyed it, especially as the Snowy owl was the elusive bird on the list for Owen Wilson's character.
and finally on Monday, a Snowy owl at Sandy point.
This is the same owl after he flew off of the other houses roof. He seems to be trying to hide behind the roof's vent pipe. The house was at a bad angle for a good picture, so it blurred when we tried to use our zoom lens.
Here's just some pretty scenery from our long birding weekend.
Lichen and baby ferns -
Fir Island view
Mt. Baker and the Twin sisters from Gooseberry point -
Sunset at Fir Island -
Mt. Rainier at sunset, from the Fir Island farm/Hayden reserve parking lot -
Birders on the dike at Fir Island in last light of the day trying to get one more bird sighting for their list.