Monday, September 4, 2017

Scudder Pond birding delights me!

Since it's been sunny and warm here in Bellingham, I decided to try out some other birding spots for my morning walk.  And last week, I went to Scudder Pond (connected to Whatcom Falls park by a lovely trail) not once but twice with fabulous birding experiences both time.  And I added 3 birds to my 2017 list bringing me to a total of 85.  New birds for the year:  Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, and Black-throated Grey Warbler.

Scudder Pond is a wonderful birding experience.  The trail starts with the pond to the right and a wooded area to the left that sits between the trail and the water flow from Lake Whatcom to the falls.  So there's lots of habitat for birds and lots of water.  It's also a great place to see wildlife other than birds as I know from previous encounters with a beaver and a couple of deer this time.

The Wood Duck was my first bird of the trip as he was at the end of the pond hanging out on a log and doing his morning bath routine.  His breeding plumage is not grown in yet so I had to identify him mostly by the partial white outlining of the non-breeding plumage plus I got a really good look at his lovely red eye.  Checking my field guide just now, I am happy to realize that the breeding plumage comes back in September so the fabulous wood duck markings will be seen soon.

Least blurry shot of preening wood duck

Next up was the wonderful time spent watching the Pileated Woodpecker work his way up a snag.  The photos I took of him on the trunk of the snag are too blurry to show the bird because I'm still learning how to work with my new camera.  It insisted on focusing on the branches in front of the bird.  Once he got up to the top, I got some great shots but the sun was so bright that much of the brilliant red crest was washed out.

Pileated on his way up to the top of the snag

Here's one with some of his crest.  

I had Pileateds as regular visitors to our backyard in Bellevue and this is one of the birds I've missed seeing regularly so it was nice to watch him for a while.

Other birds seen at Scudder Pond last week (2 trips total):
  • 3 hummingbirds
  • goldfinches
  • Stellar's Jay
  • American Crow
  • Black-capped Chickadee, many
  • Cedar Waxwings
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Red-winged Blackbird, many
  • Bushtit
  • Robin
  • Orange-crowned warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler
  • Junco
  • Song Sparrow
Unsurprisingly, I got no photos of the warblers.  I was lucky to id them all and to have a 3 warbler day on my second day at the pond.  All in all, it was a great week of birding and I look forward to more as we head into the fall migration.

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