My favorite short hike near home these days seems to be the Skagit Wildlife Area on Fir Island. The dike trail is quiet, and every month provides a different look. Birds migrate in the winter. Now, in the summer, the water level is low, but the grasses are high.
Yesterday I was looking for salmon. This is an estuary area, where salt water meets the fresh water of the Skagit. The cattails are high. The blackberries are abundant, and small birds are flitting everywhere. The area is a designated part of the Great Washington State Birding Trail-Cascade Loop.
My sighting of the day was a Belted Kingfisher. Kingfishers are not a bird I think of much, but I remember them from back east in the Chesapeake Bay area. When I spotted it, at first I thought it was a woodpecker, but the differences are apparent, and I got a good view.
I saw a number of herons, some fishing, like the one in the above photo. Their flight is remarkable--long legs, big wings, but a lanky bird as compared to raptors. I looked for owls--I know they are there, but no go yesterday.