Friday, August 28, 2009

A few days in the Olympics

A few days with the family at Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park provided a fun, relaxing time in a spectacular setting, but Barn and Violet-green Swallows were the most common birds over the water. But one day a group of immature Common Mergansers cruised into view, and spent an hour sunning on the boat ramp.

There were some attractive butterflies near the lake, including this Pine White, even though I did not see any pine trees in the thousands of acres of conifer forest covering the hills.

One day we drove west about an hour to the northwestern-most point of the U.S. lower 48. A trail led through lush rainforest to the viewpoint at Cape Flattery, where there was another spectacular view, and also a flock of about 90 Black Oystercatchers, the largest group of these birds I've ever seen.

Tatoosh Island, about a half mile off the point, was like a tantalizing glimpse of another world. I'm sure it would be a wonderful place for a birder to visit, and would be a great vantage point from which to watch for passing shearwaters, kittiwakes, and alcids.


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