Bad Boys in the Neighborhood

Sadly the eagles move on to a new location this year. Since the real bad boys of the raptor kingdom moved in they decided to find other lodgings.
The blue herons are not nesting outside my front door as they have before. It was always humorous to hear them squawk and screech at me when I would go in and out of the house.
Now it is quiet, other than the rustling of the bandits who would beg for food if I let them. They stay in their “coon hollow” under the bushes unless they are out getting the berries and other food.
I wrote this to my cousin and decided to post it here for everyone:

I love my birds and the last three summers were amazing with huge numbers of birds all different sizes and kinds.

There was an eagle’s nest each year where I could watch them go in and out of the back forest tree tops and see the fledglings take flight. They would shriek and shriek when the parents withheld food to get them out of the nest. They would finally take short flights and sometimes land just above me on branches near the deck. Over time they would go further and further. One young guy kept returning and sitting on a branch crying like he was looking for his family. Finally the eagle pair came back, circled around until he caught up with them.

I did complain about the fledglings crying all day and hurting my ears after awhile. Now I wish I had never complained, because I don’t get to hear them or see them at all. They have moved closer to the water. I saw the parents courting right in front of me while walking on the beach on the channel side. It is an amazing air dance with incredible acrobatics and I wonder they don’t fall out of the sky.

This year the eagles are gone, most of the birds are staying away if they have not already been eaten. For several years I had a pair of Peregrine falcons and that was never a problem. Now I have the biggest, fastest, meanest killers on earth living in my trees: Gyr falcons.

They are almost twice the size of the Peregrines and twice as fast. They are fascinating to watch. Much paler than the Peregrines. I thought they were Snowy Owls when I first saw them . The owls come down from Alaska and nest here every winter. Alas, I saw the black heads and realized what they were. It has gotten quieter and quieter around here other than their shrieks and calls. Even the Great Blue Herons are keeping their distance and the Crows and Ravens have gone elsewhere.

I miss my little Raven. He was very young and would sit on a branch just off the deck, moving his body up and down and singing what sounded almost like a lullabye. People think they only squawk, but I have heard them make many different sounds, even trying to mimic me when I call my little dog.

I am almost afraid to replenish the suet in the feeder for fear I am just fattening the little ones up for the kill. The Cascara berries are ripe now and I see flocks of wild pigeons and the larger Robins indulging. It is like an addiction they can’t help. Hopefully it isn’t a fatal one.
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Glorious Day with Owls and Eagles at Damon Pt.

The sun was shining full on as I was letting my little dog out this morning. I always hold the door open for her and watch in case wild animals are near. She growled in an attack voice and rushed back in the door. I had been looking down to watch for problems, but she was looking up. A huge shadow swooped across us and disappeared over the rooftop. Ah the eagles are back, I thought, cool, but I will have to keep extra careful watch now.
I decided to head out to Damon Pt. It was just too beautiful of a day to waste working, lol
As we went out I could hear our resident falcons in a tree near the driveway.
Ten minutes later, I parked at the Marina and headed out with my Yorkie, Totsie who was varying between tugging me along and putting on the brakes for a sniff around.
I love Damon Point. It is beautiful and always changing. The wave action was interestingly high. The long grasses are winter bleached to a pale cream color now. The red bush and darker drift wood stood out in contrast to the grasses. The sky and water seemed incredibly blue and large fluffy clouds were floating around. I swear one of them was a bear with angel wings.
There was a large freighter anchored on the Westport side of the channel. Fishing boats were plying the waters in the channel near the area where it breaks to the open sea.
I stayed toward the center of the peninsula for ease of walking then cut through a trail to the old road.
When we neared where the bushes start and the old road pavement still hangs, one of the snowy owls flew across us going to the other side of the peninsula. We met up with lots of owl seekers and got news of the five owls who had been there yesterday. I am not sorry I missed them. The weather yesterday was cold, windy and rainy. The rest of the people continued down the road, but I cut through to where I knew the owls would most likely be and arrived at the point a full ten min. before them.
When we got to the point we found a small snowy owl on a large log. It did not mind us sitting down to observe nearby. Three photographers came by. We spent about twenty minutes before cutting across to the channel side and walking back.
We moved along the beach close to the water, and I collected quite a few shells. I was surprised at the number of nautilus like shells. I think they are cinnamon and tulip shells.
An eagle swooped down suddenly in front of us and grasped something close to the edge of the surf, then flew off and landed up the hill in some logs. I kept an eye on the area as we walked. After a while a female and male flew out. The male was carrying a long piece of seaweed and the female was giving chase chirping at him the whole time. Every time she got close he would tip off in another direction. It was as if he was teasing her. Eventually he let her catch him and the two flew one on top of the other in close proximity. The seaweed went into the wind as they twirled, tipped and courted. When they separated they flew right at us and then out into the open channel waters disappearing far away in the clouds. It was exciting to get to watch them.
The trees behind my house have been nesting ground for eagles every year. Looks like we will be having more eaglets soon.

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Seashell Valentine Wishes from the Beach

Happy Valentine’s Day from the beach!
The beach yields so many treasures. There is an endless array of seashells. I thought these seemed just right for the occasion.

Sea Shell Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day

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Snowy Owls in Residence Again

Snowy Owl

The snowy owls are back in larger numbers this year. Though Damon Pt. is still the most likely place to find them easily, they have been spotted all over the Ocean Shores peninsula. Check out photos by Kate Lynch here:
http://wordandpicturecommunications.blogspot.com/2013/01/sand-surf-and-snowy-owls.html

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Snowy Owls

A trip to Damon Point yielded numerous encounters with the snowy owls who have migrated down from Alaska. They don’t seem to mind the windy site or the visitors. We don’t want to cause them any reason to leave so hopefully everyone will stay a respectful distance. They are beautiful and some of the younger ones look like little Casper the ghost relations. See photos by Kate Lynch here:http://wordandpicturecommunications.blogspot.com/2012/03/snowy-owls.html

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Winterized with Wonder

Happy New Year from Ocean Shores. You may be needing your boat shoes more than your flip flops this time of year, but that is no reason not to visit. There is no doubt winter is upon us. The good news is the wave action is amazing and the best of the driftwood supply is being stacked up on the beaches. You’ll also find a whole new world of agates and shells in the aftermath of the storms and more than likely some finds from far off lands. It is an exciting time of year so if you have avoided the beach in the winter, you might want to reconsider. Lots of locals intentionally go down to the beaches just to watch the amazing power of the waves during the storms. I will let you in on a well kept secret. Watch the weather closely because even in the winter there are lots of sunny, mild days that are perfect for walking on the beach and treasure hunting.

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Fun trip up north to Port Townsend

Port Townsend is a fun historical town with lots artists and atmosphere. I recently discovered a steampunk/victorian jewelry artist there and you can see her work on Etsy at:http://www.etsy.com/shop/chilirose

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Wildflowers and Lavendar flower

What a wondrous time of year when summer finally arrives. The wildflowers are in bloom and we are surrounded by brilliant hues of rose, pink, yellow, gold, orange, red, purple, lavendar, white and many shades of each. Deep rose and White foxglove are everywhere; buttercups and daisys are in full bloom. The lavendar is loaded with fragrant buds. The birds are gorging themselves on an abundance of berries and so am I. The new fawns are growing rapidly and beginning to lose their spots. An early spawn of mushrooms are popping up all over, adding to the taste treats.

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The Hogs are coming!

The great motorcycle weekend is coming up soon. As many as 4000 riders come roaring into town, put on a parade and show. Vendors offer all kinds of foods and wares. The casino has special events. Fun time for all.

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Fourth of July

Lots of activities, but the fireworks were the main attraction for most. We enjoyed a neighborhood celebration as well. This is the place if you want a great light show!

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