On March 23, 2019, the Natural History Society organized a two-part outing to explore Fort Flagler. First, Biological Technician Willie Richards led a late morning tour of the USGS- Marrowstone Marine Field Station. He explained their research on Pacific Herring and the focus on disease and pathology. Willie also told us about some of the highlights of his experience with USGS, including field sampling in Cordova, Alaska, and capturing wild Pacific Herring in the nearby waters of Puget Sound. For background on herring:
On April 13, 2019, the Natural History Society guided a bird walk focusing on birdsong. Expert naturalists Ken Wilson and Dave Rugh led an exhilarating outing, and taught us to recognize some of our common birds by their songs. They shared insights on the functions and ecology of birdsong, and enhanced our listening skills and appreciation of beautiful spring mornings.
We walked through the North Beach neighborhood, mostly on level ground with some small hills. We dressed in layers, and brought binoculars and field guides.
On May 17, 2018, the Natural History Society sponsored a two-part day of birds and beaches at North Beach, first experiencing songbirds and then exploring the intertidal zone during a minus tide. All were welcome to join one part or both!
Naturalist extraordinaire Ken Wilson led an enjoyable two-hour saunter in the North Beach neighborhood and adjacent Chinese Gardens Lagoon (Fort Worden) to closely observe and interpret the spring activity of our common songbirds as they establish their breeding territories. He also taught us some easy ways to identify birds by their songs.
Beginning at 11:00 am, beach naturalists Nan Evans and Wendy Feltham led a two-hour search for marine invertebrates, such as nudibranchs, crabs, anemones, and chitons.
We suggested bringing cameras, binoculars, field guides, appropriate footwear and clothing, and your lunch. Eileen at JLTnatural@saveland.org was the contact for any questions.
On October 17, 2017, wenjoined the Natural History Society to discover the seabirds of Admiralty Inlet.
Preeminent bird biologist and delightful teacher Bob Boekelheide led our outing and emphasized the ecology and behavior of the local seabirds we observed.
He discussed how our location in Port Townsend relates to the birds’ annual cycles, why they’re here, what they’re doing, where they’ve come from, and where they’re going.
We surveyed the birds we found roosting at Point Hudson and swimming and feeding offshore. We then drove into Fort Worden to check for birds offshore from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center pier. We ended up at Point Wilson, also scoping offshore.
We brought binoculars and scopes, snacks and drinks, and a Discovery Pass to park in Fort Worden. Ken at JLTnatural@saveland.org was the contact for location and meeting time.
On March 8, 2017, JLT Land Stewards Michele Olsen and Wendy Feltham Joined our Natural History Society for an almost-springtime walk through the Hansville Greenway.
The seven-mile route followed country roads to the historic Point No Point Lighthouse. It continued through beautiful Buck Lake County Park and the Hansville Greenway trails. In addition to meadow, pond and lake, there is a 28-acre wetland behind the lighthouse keeper’s quarters.
An alternative three and one-half mile walk takes you to the wetland area with an opportunity for birding. The park is a designated Important Bird Area on Audubon Washington’s Great Washington State Birding Trail.
We suggested wearing light hiking boots and layers, and bringing water, snack/lunch, binoculars, and field guides. There was no limit to the size of the group.