Blatherings of a bone geek, bookseller, and unapologetic bird nerd. (Now with vegany goodness.)

Tag Archives: Scriber Lake Park

On Saturday, I joined the PAWS naturalist, Kevin, and a group of volunteers on a field trip to the beautiful Redmond Waterhshed Preserve, a nature area with several trails through second and third growth forest and wetlands. We were a fairly large and noisy group which limited how much we were able to see. (I tend to like birding alone because I can walk as slowly and as quietly as I want and stand still for long periods, which tends to facilitate encounters with birds.) But it was great fun going with someone like Kevin who knows everything there is to know about PNW wildlife (animal and plant) and can point out stuff that you’d never stop to see normally – banana slugs, different types of plants, and piles of pinecone debris left by dining douglas squirrels. And even with a big noisy group we managed to spot a bird that was a new one for me: a lovely little female Hairy woodpecker. We also flushed a group of about a dozen Gadwalls but I can’t count those because I only saw their backsides as they took off in an indignant mass.

As I had taken the whole day off to go on this field trip, I kind of found myself at a loss when we returned to Lynnwood in early afternoon wanting more, so after a nap and some farting around at home, I hopped the bus over to Scriber Lake Park just to get a little bit more nature into my system. Scriber has kind of become my local patch since I’ve been staying here, and I’ve seen some interesting sights there, including hummingbirds, wood ducks, and a beaver. On Saturday, within less than a minute of entering the park, I encountered a busy little flock of the cutest bird that could only be Bushtits. I know they’re not uncommon out here, but it’s the first time I’ve consciously seen any, so I was a happy camper. I also saw some lovely Robins, Spotted towhees, and some greedy Mallards that came to greet me hoping for a handout on the lake.

One more lifer worth noting: last week at work I finally spotted the Pileated woodpecker that I’ve been hearing banging away at the trees all summer. I had heard that he was around, but hadn’t yet seen him. As I was standing on the pool pad, cleaning a haul-out from a seal pool, suddenly there he was in the treetops. There is no other bird around here that looks like that, and what I sight!

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In my last post I mentioned that while I love this area of the world, I don’t love the part of it where I’m spending most of my time. I realize this may sound contradictory, so I thought I’d post some pictures I’ve taken recently to illustrate my point.

When I wax rhapsodical about the Pacific Northwest, these are the types of scenes I’m usually thinking of:

Edmonds-Kingston Ferry leaving Edmonds Terminal
Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

…or this…

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Unfortunately, the area where I’m staying looks more like this…

Rt. 99 in Lynnwood

Auto Parts

Checks cashed

Checks cashed

Waiting for the light....

Waiting for the light....

This is the type of scene I see, not directly upon leaving my front door, but at least upon turning the corner. This is where I buy my groceries and wait for my bus. This is what I mean by stripmall hell. I shouldn’t complain. At least there IS a bus. And sidewalks. But everything is a long haul, and this is not exactly the scenic route.

That said, not far from the suburban sprawl I’ve posted above, there are pockets of lovely quiet green. The street where I live and work is a lot more rural than suburban (hence the lack of sidewalks along huge sections of the road). I pass scenes like these walking every day:

Cross street

Cross street

And this is what I see, standing in my driveway, facing west (apologies for the poor quality – it was taken with my phone):

The view from my driveway.

The view from my driveway.

And just a few blocks walking from the Auto Parts store above, there’s a park that looks like this:

Scriber Lake Park

Scriber Lake Park

… where I recently saw this…

Female wood duck

Female wood duck

… and this…

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

… and most excitingly, this…

Beaver

Beaver

So, this is what I mean. There’s so much to love about this area of the world. I’m just not crazy about the little corner of it where I have to go about my daily business at the moment. Rt. 99 is my lifeline; I can’t avoid it. But given my druthers, I wouldn’t be living here. While I do, I guess I’ll just keep searching out those beautiful spaces in between.