Back to Whidbey Island for a Memorial Day weekend visit. We took some time early one morning to head into the South Whidbey State Park forest to see what we would find. There are some very large old-growth trees here, a great place for birding as is most of Whidbey Island. South Whidbey State Park is on the west side of Whidbey island, not far from the Mukilteo ferry. There is a camping area there and lots of trails through the forest as well as a trail that will take you down to the beach with great views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
On this day we did not even make it down to the water to look for sea birds as we were inundated with singing birds in the forest. While our e-bird checklist was quite long there were tall trees and fast birds so it was quite difficult to get good shots. For this post our focus is on three birds, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Townsend’s Warbler, and a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. All three small and fast birds that did not want settle long to get their photos taken. These birds are all more common in the spring to summer breeding season. The Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Townsend’s Warblers nest in trees and bushes, sometimes tree cavities for the Flycatcher. The Orange-crowned Warbler will generally nest on the ground. All three birds have a distinct song and call that was easy to recognize once heard. The Flycatchers song I will not forget as there is one in our back yard wooded area that sings all day long and has been doing so for about three weeks straight.
South Whidbey State Park is part of the Puget Loop portion of the Washington State Birding Trail for those keeping track. For hiking info here is the WTA link for South Whidbey State Park. This is a great place to visit year-round as the weather never gets too hot or cold near the water. Though you’ll likely only see the Warblers in the warmer months. Included in the pictures below were a pair of Bald Eagles’ chatting to each other on Goss Lake, not far from the State Park.
Things to Note:
- Because the trails here take you to the beach you may want boots or hiking shoes for your visit.
- There are other great birding areas near by, Double Bluff County Park is nice as well as Deer Lagoon and Greenbank Farm area.
- These shots were taken with the Sony a7 along with the Sony FE 200-600mm lens and a Sony 2x Teleconverter.
- Please check out our resources page to learn more about the equipment we used to find and take these shots!
- It’s springtime and we’ve upped our backyard bird game with a couple of new feeders. We currently get House Finches, Song Sparrows, Chickadees and Nuthatches. And of course our resident Anna’s Hummingbirds. Make your backyard birds happy and get them a new feeder!