[Tweeters] On the Water out of John Wayne Marina - a Perfect End to a Great Birding Year

B B birder4184 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 31 21:37:33 PST 2015

Our boat trip out of John Wayne Marina today was a perfect end to a wonderful birding year in 2015 and was emblematic of why I so enjoy this activity.  Birding constantly inserts us in situations where there are opportunities to experience terrific places, people and of course birds. One of these rewards is almost always present and on the best of days we get all three.  Like today. 
Not many places are better than Puget Sound on a beautiful crisp and clear winter day on calm seas with little wind with continuous views of the snow clad Olympics, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak and Protection Island. 
And the people today were the very best.  Captain Randy and his crew on the Joker from Venture Charters were the best..skilled, friendly and helpful.  Bob Boekelheide and John Gatchet were excellent and expert spotters, Penny Rose was our reporter keeping track of the many hundreds of birds we observed.  Ginger and Dan Poleschook added their unique knowledge of Loons even calling to the Yellow Billed Loon gaining its attention. I had the chance to bird yet again with Frank Caruso, Jon Houghton and Melissa Hafting with whom I have shared many fabulous moments this year.  I also had the chance to bird again with Vince Lucas, Ken Trease, Neil Zimmerman, and Bill Boyington who I have not seen in a while as well as with others that today became new birding friends.  Everyone was terrific, enduring the cold, always positive and sharing. 
And of course we had super birds as well.  A great view of our first Yellow Billed Loon which treated us with its presence in the sunshine for maybe 10 minutes its head tilted high and its large bill glistening in the sun.  Hundreds of Ancient Murrelets provided "life views" for most of is.  Gorgeous Long Tailed Ducks, certainly more than a hundred, flew in every direction.  We saw dozens of Harlequin Ducks, Common Murres, and Pigeon Guillemots, and lower numbers of many other birds. 
Great places, people and birds...all present today big time in a perfect way to end what has been an extra special birding year in 2015.  A perfect ending.  Looking forward to sharing many more wonderful times in 2016.  Happy New Year!
Some pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/103072475474183849815/SequimBoatTripDecember312015?locked=true

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