This holiday break and a light work load has afforded me a little extra time to get out in my own town. Consider it a warm up for retirement. We had a big dump of snow a few days ago and then a booster shot day before yesterday. The wee hour temperatures were down into the teens. I needed to go into town to pick up a couple items at Ace Hardware. It was a perfect opportunity to make a little side trip to the Edmonds Fishing Pier. I hadn’t planned on writing a Bucket, but the observations I made on my pier walk were best shared in a Bucket. Because I am planning future pier walks to share, this will be Episode 1.
Also, very honored to have the very first Bucket of the year. I didn’t plan it that way, just turned out that way (blame it on Jeff). I’m looking forward to spending time with you all in 2022, seeing your nature places.
THE DAILY BUCKET IS A NATURE REFUGE. WE AMICABLY DISCUSS ANIMALS, WEATHER, CLIMATE, SOIL, PLANTS, WATERS AND NOTE LIFE’S PATTERNS.
WE INVITE YOU TO NOTE WHAT YOU ARE SEEING AROUND YOU IN YOUR OWN PART OF THE WORLD, AND TO SHARE YOUR OBSERVATIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Click ==> Google Earth Web View
Edmonds Fishing Pier — Tuesday, December 28, 2021
The pier was built in 1975. It’s a popular place for anglers as well as birders. It gets you up close to seabirds you’d normally need to scope from shore; sea ducks, loons, grebes, cormorants, and alcids. The adjacent marina breakwater is a good place to see Black Turnstones and Surfbirds.
Surf Scoters were the bird of the day, a small flock swimming under and near the pier. They’re here in winter, abundantly just offshore, floating around in flocks numbering in the tens, if not more than one hundred. From All About Birds, here’s what they’re feeding on:
Along sea coasts, Surf Scoters prey on benthic invertebrates—creatures near or on the sea floor. Small mollusks, especially mussels and clams, form a large part of the diet, as well as marine snails, small crabs, sea squirts, hydrozoans (related to jellyfish), various marine worms, and (particularly in the Pacific) herring spawn. They also consume aquatic vegetation.
There were other birds, too. Goldeneyes and Horned Grebes are winter visitors.
Cormorants are seen all year.
As I scanned the skies, three waves of aerial bird formation flew by high overhead, maybe 500 to 1,000 feet up, moving south, down Sound. They looked like ducks. I’m guessing Mallards. maybe Red-breasted Mergansers? Any confirmed ID’s or best guesses appreciated.
Time to leave the pier and head over to Walnut Street Coffee for a latte and a cardamom bun.
Thanks for strolling the pier with me. I know it was snowy, slippery, and cold. Join me next time!
Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading the Daily Bucket.
Phenology is how we take earth’s pulse.
We discuss what we see in each Bucket.
We value all observations, as we ponder life’s cycles.
Now it’s your turn.
Please comment about your own natural area, and include photos if possible. We love photos!
To have the Daily Bucket in your Activity Stream, visit Backyard Science’s profile page and click on Follow, and join to write a Bucket of your own observations.