Washington State's oceanic shorelines are a wonderland for birders. There's your ocean, for starters. Then there are all the levels of the shoreline and variations thereof: rocky, muddy, gravelly, sandy. Take a few more steps east, and you're deep in a forest--anything from a mix of conifers and red alders to ancient temperate rainforest. This variety of habitat makes the shorelines a wonderland for the birds themselves, too.
Vacationing in the San Juan islands these past two weeks, up north near Canada's own islands, thus meant lots of bird sightings. I managed to get a few photos--forgive the resolution, my camera's just a little Panasonic Lumix, so once I get past the optical zoom's limits and it goes to digital zoom, the crispness is gone. Still, they bring me back, with exquisite clarity, to the moment I saw these wild creatures.
I'll start with the XL birds: