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Monday, November 14, 2016


I haven't been doing any birding lately because I have been suffering intermittent attacks of vertigo.† Most of the time I'm okay, but I've had four or five "attacks" in the last month, and each time I've felt very dizzy - enough so that I am basically incapacitated and can only sit still and not move my head for several hours.† I was home alone when the first one hit, and I ended up calling 9-1-1 and having them take me to the ER because I didnít know what was going on.† It seems to be something called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV.† There is no known cause, no cure or treatment, and I just have to wait for it to go away each time.† After each "attack", I have felt marginal for 2 or 3 days afterwards, not venturing out or wanting to drive.† My fear of having an attack when I'm in some remote location by myself has kept me home mostly.


I was feeling good today, though, so I ventured up to the Edmonds waterfront, about a half hour north of here.† I hadn't seen the fishing pier there since they renovated it this summer.† It looks pretty much the same except there are new railings.† They probably did things the underside of the pier, too.


It rained a little on my way north, but I came out into sunshine as I approached Edmonds, which is on Puget Sound.† I saw most of the usual suspects that I normally see there, but nothing new for my Monday list.† Here is a close shot of a Rhinoceros Auklet in winter plumage.


Here is a picture of it flapping its stubby little wings.† In this picture you can see the winter remnants of its "horn" that gives it its name, at the base of the bill.


In case that last picture isn't closely enough cropped to see the horn, here is a more closely cropped one of the head.


That horn is larger in the summer and the bird has white plumes sweeping back from its eye and the base of its bill.† It's an overall darker color in the summer, too.


Here is a Red-necked Grebe.


There were a number of Horned Grebes around, too, and here is a picture of one of them.


To complete the grebe trifecta, here is a Western Grebe.


Here is a picture of a jellyfish.† It was about as big around as a large pizza.


I was able to see a couple of Pigeon Guillemots and a Common Murre in the distance, too far for pictures, along with some other of the usual species.† I went over to Sunset Avenue and looked at the area north of the ferry terminal and saw a pair of Black Scoters and several Harlequin Ducks.† I didn't see anything special, but it was nice to get out and do some birding after being cooped up at home, too fearful to venture out lest I have an attack of vertigo somewhere away from home.


I canceled my Cannon Beach trip, which was supposed to be this week, and I've rescheduled it for mid-December.† I hope I have learned to cope with the vertigo by then, and maybe it will have gone away for good by then.† I don't like it.