Showing posts from September, 2014

We Know It's Autumn...

...when the Heermann's Gulls stop by at West Beach in Deception Pass State Park.  There are four in the photo.  They are the gray-brown gulls with red beaks.  Click or right-click the image to open it full size. Heermann's Gulls have a unique migration habit.  After the breeding season, they come north as far as British Columbia.  In December, they will start back south to reach their breeding grounds in Mexico.  Their breeding season there occurs between March and July. While I watched the gulls, this Song Sparrow perched nearby to watch me watching the gulls. A gang of about a dozen juvie gulls was hanging out in the West Beach parking lot.  They reminded me of high schoolers at the drive-in.  Does that date me?  These are park birds, accustomed to cars and people.  One was so at ease, he decided to take a nap right next to my truck.  It was a cool, overcast morning.  I am guessing the gulls were enjoying a little solar warmth absorbed by the asphalt pa

Late Bloomer

I was at the Kukutali Preserve today.  One of the interesting things I spotted was this blooming  Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) .  It is a bit out of season for this native shrub.  May, June and July are the peak times for blooming, not September.  Right now they should be displaying their hips.  The shrubs at Kukutali are no exception: Nootka Rose is an outstanding choice for the native wildlife garden.  Their flowers. fruits and leaves attract a number of insects, birds and mammals.  Thickets provide cover and nesting sites for birds and small mammals.  They are also excellent plants for stabilizing slopes . As an ornamental, they are every bit as attractive as their cultivated counterparts.  They are especially effective in thickets and hedgerows.  Because they are natives, they are also hardier and less demanding than other roses.  Their only drawback is a tendency to spread aggressively, so give them a spot where this won't be a problem.