Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday March 17, 2012 Spencer Island

Could this winter be colder, wetter, or windier? What a terrible time to be outside but there we were again out on a trail in 30 something degree weather, raining almost snowing, trying to keep ourselves and our gear somewhat dry. We started at Spencer Island just out of the city part of Everett. To get there you go to Langus Riverfront Park and keep going under I-5 to the treatment center. Birds always love treatment ponds--must be lots of good stuff to be found there--I don't like to envision it. You park there and then walk to the bridge (.4 mile) that leads to the trails around the island. On the way to the bridge there was a flock of greater scaups up by one of the ponds. There were some nice marsh areas on each side of the trail and from there we could hear a very pretty bird song. Inside we spotted a marsh wren (#65) bouncing around and singing.

There were a few of them along the walk along with mallards and Canadian geese, crows and gulls. Crossing the bridge you see a great estuary system that looks like it should be full of water critters but because of the weather I think they were all hunkered down somewhere else. You have a choice of going left or right on the trail. Not knowing exactly which way to go we chose to the right. It was cold and wet but we were there and by gum we were going to take the trail. After a ways you have a choice of going right or left again. The left is the Cross Island Levee Trail and that's the one we took--we could see some waterfowl in the ponds in that direction and hoped to get a better view. There were some green winged teals, common goldeneyes, mallards and a great blue heron but not much else. It was a great trail though and would have been much more enjoyable if it wasn't raining. The trail did cross the island and joined another trail--left or right? I was pretty sure the right would join back up with our original trail so that's what we took. This followed the river and gave us a glimpse of some of the history along the way with shells of old boats, and some boats that were in working order. This part of the river is called Steamboat Slough. Not many birds though. The trail did continue to follow the lower and western side of the island and joined up where we had been. It was a pretty good walk (2.6 miles round trip from the bridge) but no new birds. The sun tried to come out a bit but it was very sporadic. Back at the car we did get some good looks of mew gulls (#66) flying around the treatment ponds. We were there about 3 1/2 hours. Really quite disappointed in the birding but it was a great area. We would love to come back in better weather.

We drove around a bit, Langus Riverfront Park and some land north of the treatment ponds, to see if we could find any other birds. We saw a nice bald eagle, American wigeons, green winged teals and herons but again nothing new. Hunger was setting in so we decided to head south on I-5 a bit to Edmonds to check out their marsh/pier area. On the way we found a Subway for lunch, right next to a Starbucks--what luck for Rudy, and then onward to Edmonds. The marsh area was small but a nice boardwalk and it's really close to the fishing pier--just south of the Kingston ferry dock. The marsh had a couple of beautiful blue herons and some waterfowl. Over on the pier there were surf scoters, red-breasted and common mergansers, cormorants, a rhino auklet, pigeon guillemot and many gulls. Nothing new again but a good bunch of birds. It was about 3:30p and we had to get over to Burien for a family dinner so we ended the day having a great pot of corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day.

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