[Tweeters] A Gazetteer for Discovery Park

Jordan Gunn uwjag21 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 15:43:23 PDT 2013


I would like to echo David's endorsement of Discovery Park for birding.
Access to many of the best birding spots takes a hike from a parking lot
(except for the very birdy area north and east of the South Parking Lot),
but the reward is well worth it. I have been spending a good amount of time
at the park recently and really enjoy the variety of habitat that is there.
Last year, I went on 72 walks at Discovery and saw 150 species. This year
I've added some great park birds such as Pine Grosbeak and Western
Bluebird. You never know what will show up at that park.

Good birding,

--
Jordan Gunn
Seattle, WA
uwjag21 at gmail dot com

On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM, David Hutchinson <flora.fauna at live.com>wrote:


> It is a shame, but for several practical reasons, it seems that the

> variety of habitats and magnificent scenery of Seattle's Discovery Park is

> rather under-birded. It is certainly a shame in that many of King County's

> early or only bird records have occurred here. Moreover, there have been

> quite a few changes in vernacular names in recent years, due to building

> removal, road vacation, habitat restoration or official requirement, which

> can lead to confusion.

>

> If you all turn to page 34 of Gene Hunn's recently published: Birding in

> Seattle & King County, you will find an excellent aerial photo of the park.

> I hope that you will find the following annotations to this photo helpful.

>

> 1) In the very far NE corner of the photo, under the "e" of Shilshole, you

> will find an area that overlooks the bay. This spot is really good for

> spying alcids, grebes, ducks and loons, though it is not part of the park

> and you must enter through Bay Terrace. Be mindful of the public and

> nesting birds.

>

> 2) Due south is the famous Wolf Tree nature trail, where one can often

> hear Black-throated Gray Warbler.

>

> 3 ) Continue moving your eyes south and you will encounter the main

> east-west road in the park. This historically has been called Utah St/Ave.

> Confusingly it is now called Discovery Park Boulevard. Just about central

> to the park, off of Utah is a long, covered, historic bus stop. If you go

> west on the picture you will see the word "pond". In vernacular this is the

> Utah Wetlands, which are always worth a cautious visit to look for

> warblers, ducks and one day perhaps rails.

>

> 4) North-east of the big bus-stop is a sunny slope locally called the

> Hospital Site. A feature of this area as it runs along Utah is the many

> native wildflowers planted by a restoration volunteer.

>

> 5) Running due north from the bus-stop is a road sign-posted Idaho. This

> has been partially vacated and will be completely removed this Fall. On the

> right hand side, as you walk down Idaho is an area under habitat

> restoration. This is the Theater Site, where a large movie theater operated

> in WWII. It looks a bit plantation-like, but remember that it has

> entertained birds jointly called Grosbeak, i.e. Evening, Black-headed and

> Pine.

>

> 6) In the south-east section of Discovery one can see the title "500

> Area", where over 20 Army Reserve bunk houses were taken down. This area

> is now in different forms of restoration and, in my opinion, is the most

> birdy part of the park, with an unusual mixture of native and exotic trees

> and shrubs, providing a considerable "edge" effect. The area and its

> surrounds is good for all kinds of woodpeckers. If, in winter, one wanted

> to have a chance at species like Redpoll, Red-crossbill, Pine Grosbeak,

> Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Siskin et. al., this where I think I would start my

> search. It is helpful that it is adjacent to the South Parking Lot.

>

> Under the capital A of Area, after 500, is the former Nike Site, where a

> huge concrete command post was razed, with much travail. It looks a bit

> sorry for itself at the moment, but it is under habitat restoration and

> does have Willow Flycatchers

>

> 7) Shifting to the mid-western part of Discovery is a large area of about

> 30 acres labelled "Military Housing to be Razed".

> Locally this is known as the Capehart Site and is under active habitat

> restoration, though there are conflicting views of what this site may

> eventually become. Right now, the area looks like a newly-replanted

> clearcut, and is closed to the public for the next few years. However, the

> cyclone fence will one day come down and I believe the public will be

> pleasantly surprised. So far it has only been flown over by Lews's

> Woodpecker, Common Nighthawk and Raven, but it promises a great deal of

> habitat diversity.

>

> 8) Southwest of Capehart is a label pointing down to the south beach and

> saying "Loop Trail". This is incorrect as, while there is a trail here, the

> formal park loop trail runs north,directly along the western edge of

> Capehart. South-east of this label "Loop Trail", is a white dot denoting

> the Sand Dunes, which one May morning had a Hepburn's Rosy-Finch in perfect

> breeding plumage. And heading north-east from the sand dunes, is a trail

> over a little knoll connecting to a meadow. This is the other truly birdy

> area in Discovery, known as Bird Alley. The meadow itself, officially know

> as Bio-solids, is locally known as the Sludge Meadow and is problematic.

> But corners of it are under habitat restoration, so we shall keep our

> fingers crossed.

>

> I think that is enough verbiage, but thanks to Penny Rose for crucial

> commentary. I hope you will all, at some juncture, share my enthusiasm for

> this extraordinary urban park, open space and beauty spot.

>

>

>

> --

> David Hutchinson, Owner

> Flora & Fauna: Nature Books

> Discovery Gardens: Native Plants

> 3706 Corliss Ave North

> Seattle,WA.98103

> http://www.ffbooks.net/

> 206-623-4727

>

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>

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