An Unexpected Encounter

I checked out some walking trails today along the Puget Sound shore located adjacent to the Chambers Bay Golf Course. Actually, the trails circumnavigate around the whole course. One couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location and view of the water—for both casual walker—and golf player. The recreation area is nestled away in a quiet neighborhood of University Place, just west of Tacoma, WA. I’ve walked along the upper trail above the golf course many times to take in the beautiful sunsets. But, I had never been down to the lower trails along the beach. Not long ago, a long, curving walk bridge was constructed to guide hikers over the railroad tracks that follow the shoreline.


I walked down the steps to the beach area, which is very rocky. We don’t have nice, soft, sandy beaches along Puget Sound. The whole area was carved out by glaciers leaving behind lots of rocks. Walking on lots of large pebbles is very hard on the feet and skeletal structure, at least with mine it is.

As I scanned the horizon and the areas to the left and right of me, something intriguing caught my eye. Off in the distance (not too far), I noticed a large bird nest atop some pilings from a dilapidated pier just offshore. The first bird species that came to mind was the osprey. I walked along the rocky beach to try to get a closer look. Lo and behold, there was a bird roosting in it. I looked around to see if I could spot its mate nearby. I didn’t have to wait long. Along it came and, yes, it was an osprey. “What luck!” I thought. I stuck around for about an hour, watching as the fish-catcher took off, returning with a prize from the sea. He would then eat his catch and then take off again to catch another fish. Sometimes he would bring some of his catch back to the nest for his mate.

Now, by no means am I a bird photographer. I don’t have the equipment and skills for it. So I had to make the best of it with the zoom lens on the camera I had and tried to keep the camera as still as I could by any means available. Please pardon my shaky hands and camera, but I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity nature had presented before me.


On a final note, all the while I was watching the osprey, I spotted something far out in the water. It appeared to be the head of something that would come up every so often as it continued along it way. I thought perhaps it was a seal, since we have a lot of those here. But, as it slowly made it’s way past my area, I could hear loud exhalations every time it resurfaced. Then I began to wonder if it was a whale, which we have plenty of here, as well. We have lots of Orcas that reside in these waters, but I didn’t see any dorsal fin. We have other whale species that visit as well during the year. I guess I will never know what I saw and heard that day. All in all, it was a very eventful nature day for me!

© Peggy A Thompson

About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I am retired and enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store,
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5 Responses to An Unexpected Encounter

  1. Gunta says:

    Sounds like a perfectly wonderful day. Great shots of the birds, despite the lack of special equipment.

  2. Steve says:

    Excellent work, Peggy. You sure have an ‘eye’.

  3. Those are spectacular shots! Quite a place to check out, Peggy.

Thank you!

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