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Lost at Boeing Creek Park but found a Brown Creeper

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Some of my favorite PNW birds are the little ones that like to hide, they rarely come to our backyard bird feeder but aren’t uncommon. Warblers, Kinglets, Nuthatches, and Creepers all fit into this category for me, you tend to hear them a lot more than you see them. Last Saturday morning we decided to get a short walk through Boeing Creek Park in and see what birds we could find.

Boeing Creek Park also known as Shoreview park, or maybe they are separate but they connect so I’m never quite sure which is which, is a large park with a forested area divided by a deep gully where the creek runs into a pond and then out toward the Puget Sound. We started in the Shoreview parking area near the ball fields and headed west and north toward the pond to see if we’d find any water birds. It was very quiet other than one Northern Flicker very high up in one tree. When we reached the pond we learned there is no longer a pond! Apparently due to toxic algae they decided to clear out the pond and just route a wider section of the creek through the area and planting the rest of the area with filter plants like a giant raingarden. It looked like a work in progress.

We followed the path east up the creek, this is where we got lost. We had hoped to simply cut back up from the creek back to the parking lot but could not find a trail up the steep hill. So we just continued along the creek until we found a spot where some well placed stones allowed us to cross the creek. This was taking us further away (and across the creek!) from where we needed to get. But we hoped if we just kept going there would be another creek crossing further up. This delay was fortuitous though, as we made it up the hill to the other side of the park we spotted some Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Brown Creeper. They were right next to the path and were happy to sit long enough for a few photos. The Brown Creeper, unfortunately named, is a funny little bird similar to a nuthatch with a longer beak, it would start at the bottom of the tree (they prefer old large trees) and slowly crawl it’s way up toward the top, using it’s long beak to find small insects in the bark, then it would repeat this process all over again. Usually the best way to find them is to hear them – user the Merlin app to identify their call.

So to finish our walk we found there was a second crossing of the creek, then a trail that followed the opposite bank back down towards the first crossing. It turned out that had we followed the original bank a little further we’d have found our trail back up to the parking lot we started from. So we probably added an hour to our walk but it was worth it to see the birds. We are on our way to Puerto Vallarta for a winter vacation so check back for our next post with some birds from Mexico!

Things to note:

  • There is an offleash dog park near the top of the park, above the Shoreview parking area, probably not the best place for birding.
  • This park can get very muddy in most seasons, just be aware and wear the proper shoes.
  • Please check out our resources page to learn more about the camera we used to take these shots!

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