An Explosion of Color: Lavender and Emerald!

Dumb luck birding, and bike touring … it’s a great combination. When Molly and I planned the family vacation to be just prior to our bike tour, we had no idea that our vacation choice, Dungeness Bay would hold their Lavender Festival the final two days of our Olympic Peninsula stay. Heck, prior to this week I had never seen Lavender in my life.

Thus, this morning while taking a bike ride, off the bike path I spied a beautiful field of Lavender. These purplish flowers were screaming at me to get off my bike and enjoy the visual sensation. Here is a bit of what I saw.

Cycling down the bike I noticed some swallows using a bird house that did not look like tree swallows. Enter a new lifer for me … the Violet-Green Swallow … what a gorgeous bird. Perhaps in honor of the local festival the bird should be renamed to the Emerald-Lavender Swallow … seems appropriate! To get these photos by the bird house, I dismounted my bike and crawled towards the swallows, never standing up. A prone or sitting human is not so threatening.

Lifers X 4!

Well really three, unless one is willing to count walking underwater … sort of! Over the past two days I saw three new lifer birds, and walked tidal flats that normally would have been 10 feet under water. Cool times! This morning I even saw my first ever Tufted Puffin (no photo)

  • Salt Creek Tidal Flats
  • Black-Headed Grosbeak
  • Chestnut Backed Chickadee
  • Anna’s Hummingbird

Attacking Bald Eagles, Babies & Other Stuff!

The family is having a fantastic time on the Olympic Peninsula. The area is gorgeous, and the weather is fantastic. Yesterday we hiked up Hurricane Ridge where Maren posed in an Alpine meadow. When I returned home, I was treated to some seagulls attacking a Bald Eagle.

Today, my son-in-law Matt and I drove out to Cape Flattery where we beachcombed for over two hours (2 hours of walking on a sandy beach without seeing another human), followed by a hike out onto the Cape Flattery Headland itself.

Hurricane Ridge

  • Marren
  • Wildflower Vista
  • Buck in Velvet

Attacking the Bald Eagle

Cape Flattery

  • Black Oystercatcher Chicks
  • Pigeon Guillemots
  • Pelagic Cormorants on Nests

Get Off the Interstate!

Molly and I just drove from Minnesota to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. While we were on interstate highways, about 1/2 of the time I managed to find local routes. Just like when we are bike touring, when in the car we want to see America. The best way to see the country is to escape the interstate. Traffic will also be light.

Here is a great example, while on a local road driving across Washington State we saw a sign which said scenic lookout one mile. Coming around the bend … wow! Mount Rainier appeared!

Here are a few more photographs from our travels. The Clark Fork River in Montana … a sunrise bike ride, and two bird images.

This Purple Martin was teasing its chicks in the hope it might entice their young to take a first flight. The California Quail was watching over a brood of about eight young.