Ducks on Lake Washington, Seattle, WA 7 Jan 2018

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by alexsidles, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. alexsidles

    alexsidles Paddler

    Jan 10, 2009
    Seattle WA
    My first paddle of the year was on my local stomping grounds at Foster Island in Lake Washington. This time of year, there are always thousands of ducks wintering in Union Bay, and this year, their numbers seemed higher than ever. I know the birding community identified 4,000 American coots in the bay just last week, and coots are but one of the 20 or so duck and goose species present. If you like waterfowl, Lake Washington is the place to be right now.

    Wood ducks were present in unusually large numbers this weekend, and I saw something I'd never seen before: By the gravel boat launch in the arboretum, a pair of wood ducks had joined the resident mallard flock in being fed by people! I've never seen wood ducks so friendly towards humans before—during the 1990s, wood ducks were so shy that the only place in Seattle to see them was in a hidden slough surrounded by dense brush, and if the ducks saw you looking at them, they would bolt. Now they're fighting mallards for our bread!

    01 Under one of the Foster Is. footbridges.jpg
    01: Under one of the Foster Island footbridges.
    02 Husky Stadium.jpg
    02: Husky Stadium.

    03 Canada geese.jpg
    03: Canada geese.

    04 Common merganser.jpg
    04: Common merganser.

    05 Double-crested cormorants.jpg
    05: Double-crested cormorants.

    06 Wood ducks and mallard.jpg
    06: Wood ducks and mallard.

    07 American coot.jpg
    07: American coot.

    08 Raft of wigeon and coots.jpg
    08: Raft of wigeon and coots.

    09 Belted kingfisher.jpg
    09: Belted kingfisher.

    10 Canvasbacks and American wigeon.JPG
    10: Canvasbacks and American wigeon.

    11 Lesser scaup.JPG
    11: Lesser scaup and bufflehead.

    12 Gadwall.jpg
    12: Gadwall.

    13 Green-winged teal and mallard.JPG
    13: Green-winged teal and mallard.

    14 Northern shoveler.JPG
    14: Northern shoveler.

    chodups likes this.
  2. chodups

    chodups Paddler

    Nov 2, 2005
    Thanks for the report Alex. I think I mentioned before that I grew up in that neighborhood and have been plying those waters for 60 years now. Did I say that out loud?
  3. pikabike

    pikabike Paddler

    Apr 24, 2014
    SW Colorado
    I love how your photos show birds’ feathers matching their environments. This is especially striking in the photos of the belted kingfisher and the green-winged teal. Gorgeous examples of fashion meeting function.