If you are a birder, young or old, you'll add to your life list on the Olympic Peninsula. I'm interested in them, but I'm not a birder - YET. I know that this area almost always leads Washington State in high counts of species during spring migration. The Christmas bird count a big annual event for the Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park along the Olympic Peninsula Discovery Trail. The reason for my investigation? I've noticed hummers hanging around my house for the last few days. My curiosity was up. So I started some research about these lovely little guys that chose to stay here in the winter. Boy, was I surprised. In looking for bird information, I found listings for over 350 species that visit the Olympic Peninsula. We have three different types of hummers. Anna's, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds all have been reported. Maybe on examination, I think I know which one I saw. Anna's like to live in the forests, brush areas and in town. It is a permanent resident along the West Coast from British Columbia to northern Mexico. Calliope's like to live in the forests and have only been seen on the Olympic Peninsula a few times. They are the smallest - about three inches long. (The ones I saw seemed more robust!) That leaves the Rufous hummingbirds. They live in forest, brush areas and in town. They are rarely seen in the winter. They are common in the spring and early summer, and fairly common in the fall. So I probably am not seeing Calliope's or Rufous. But, I want more information. An email to my birder friend says that Anna's should be the only ones hanging around at this time of year. According to ebird.org, there was a registered siting in Neah Bay on February 1. And, Anna's have been seen on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles within the last couple weeks. Conclusion: Anna's Hummingbirds are at my house! All this is fascinating to me. Think how far birds travel during their life times. Much farther than many of us do over the course of our life times. This graphic from Cornell Labs totally mesmerized me. Be sure to watch the animated migration.
Winter rains lead to a flower-filled spring transformation on the Olympic Peninsula. As the lush green landscape is dotted with delicate buds, our towns and parks are cause for celebration. In early spring the streets of Port Angeles are lined with yellow daffodils, pink cherry blossoms, and a rainbow of tulips. Washington's State Flower is center stage at Port Townsend's Rhododendron Festival in mid-May. This week long fete includes lots of fun events and the crowning of Rhody Royalty. Peony Farm in Sequim, invites the public to see more than 200 varieties of its namesake flower during Peonies on Parade. Visitors to Brinnon, can enjoy a stroll and picnic among the flowering trees, shrubs, and blooms at Whitney Gardens and Nursery. Continue reading
Port Angeles Farmer’s Market has all of the ingredients for creating Olympic Coastal Cuisine. Organic produce, fresh seafood, grass-fed beef, wild mushrooms, and artisan cheeses are sold at the market. In addition to delicious produce and products, visitors can pick up local artisan wares from jewelry to hand spun yarn, watercolor paintings to birdhouses. This farmer’s market has been around for over 30 years and was named the 2012 Washington State Farmer’s Market of the Year- medium size. Continue readingSpring is a great time to experience Olympic Peninsula's bounty at farmers markets, restaurants, and fun festivals. Here are a few ways to enjoy Olympic Coast Cuisine during the spring months. MARCH- Open Saturdays year round, the