Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday June 25, 2012 Squak Mt. State Park

I'm trying to get in every last second I can before my eye surgery tomorrow. I'm not sure when I'll be able to go birding again. After work, Rudy and I had to go up to Bellevue to pick up some special equipment for my recovery today so instead of battling the traffic to get home we decided to see what mischief we could get into. First we ate dinner at a nice little teriyaki place at Factoria. Then we headed out Coal Creek Parkway and Maytown road toward Issaquah-Hobert. There was a sign for a Squawk Mountain State Park on the way so we decided to stop by and see what we could find. It is just a small little parking area but there were a few trails. Since my knee is still so bad we had to keep to the short ones so we went on a nicely done interpretive trail. The setting is an older forest but it was very quiet so we didn't know if we'd see any birds. Then we heard what sounded like a new song but once we found the source it was a pretty little spotted towhee. The interpretive trail was like none I'd ever seen before (this is saying something because I hit about every one I've ever been near). It was done in a children's story with the field mouse looking for the pretzel tree. Along the way he meets all kinds of critters in the forest and how they all work together to make the forest a wonderful place. It so inspired me I'm going to do something similar for our property. But, back to birds. Still pretty quiet but we did hear some high pitched noise. Rudy saw it first, a brown creeper (#147). Then I got a nice little show. Creepers are great because they will only go up a tree, never down. Sure enough that is exactly what he did. Then we heard another very intricate song and it turned out to be a Pacific wren (#148) perched on top of a stump. Wouldn't you know it, I did not have my video camera to capture the moment but it lives on in our memory. We kept hoping to see an owl as it was a perfect forest for one but no luck. But we were happy to add two more for such a simple outing.

After that we headed out toward Maple Valley, Four Corners and Black Diamond. We decided to go into Flaming Geyser State Park for our last look of the day. First thing we saw was a beautiful eagle flying from a tree down through the valley. Then we went over to the ponds and saw a belted kingfisher and startled a great blue heron. Also making a racket were a bunch of red winged blackbirds chasing a crow out of their area. That went on for a while until they quieted down for the night. Rudy found a mama merganser with some babies--it doesn't get cuter than that. No new birds at that stop but a nice way to finish the day.

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