Once more continuing to fail to see gray whales. Insert here a rerun of Saturday's First Beach photos. On the other hand, the elk were out on Beaver Prairie; it is surely ridiculous to fuss about the absence of cetaceans when the Olympic Peninsula offers its own charismatic megafauna, just casually, in a field by the highway.
Sunday was a beautiful spring morning at Rialto Beach, I got my COASST surveys for April done (no dead birds). There's more wrack than there had been for a while, and marine debris on the beach, nets, bits of rope, Asian plastic bottles from the North Pacific garbage patch.
Then I drove around to the La Push side of the river and not-saw gray whales for a couple of hours. Oh. I already mentioned that. It did occur to me that perhaps there just weren't any whales passing by when I happened to be looking— it's not like they could show up one after another all up and down the migration route simultaneously.
PS Saturday's unrecorded bird events included an eagle sitting in the shallows of the Quileute River, just sitting there, the way I used to sit in Tassajara Creek in the afternoons when the temperature would be around 110 degrees and nothing remained of my temper.
And there were lovely ducks paddling around in the river. I got a good look at one in the binoculars, a common merganser of such surpassing beauty that I wondered if I had maybe been a female merganser in a previous life to respond to it so clearly.
Sunday afternoon I stopped by the lake and a pair of mallards waddled up attentively: was I eating? would I share? They were both so drop-dead gorgeous, suddenly not just boring old mallards, it occured to me that oh it is spring and the birds are in their breeding colors and no surprise even passing elderly primates respond. Mrs. Mallard flashed her purple iridescent speculum at me repeatedly. I actually don't believe this is projection: she was flirting. I considered giving her the remains of my lunch...