[Tweeters] Sammamish River
dennisdmoore at comcast.net
Wed May 18 19:41:09 PDT 2016
Yesterday was a good day for a fitness paddle up the Sammamish River
from Bothell upstream to the 143 Street bridge. This is one of two
sections of the river that tend to the wild. Streamside restoration
projects focused on salmon habitat have enhanced the natural value with
meanders and debris from above the North Creek confluence to north of
Woodinville and then from 116 St to Lake Samm. I prefer the upper
section but the lower is more accessible. Going up expect to wade at
the mouth of Little Bear Creek. There is some foot access from the Samm
River trail on the east and the back side of the industrial park on the
west including the forested wetlands next to Red Hook.
Highlights. Lots of Yellowthroat warblers. A few Yellows. Some
Spotted SP and a pair of UFO SP. 1 Green heron. 3 RB kingfisher. Lots
of stoic Great Blue herons. A small flock of Cedars. A Common Merg hen
with 9 chicks. Cute. Raven 'gronking' out of sight. I have been
seeing ravens in the area for the last two years.
Sooo. I am passing a GBHE within 20' when this female bird grabs a
muskrat. Not the biggest I have seen but substantial. Shake and dunk.
Repeat. Again and again. I have no idea how this bird is going to down
this 'rat' but it is going to make the effort. I don't think this bird
has the equipment to dismember. After about 15 min I move on. I am
sure the many Mallards with rafts of chicks both numerous and depleted
are providing fare for the GBHE. A muskrat is an ambitious meal but her
chicks are hungry.
P.S. I recommend the North Creek trail following both sides of the
creek from Canyon Park (524) to Beardsley and the Samm trail. Lots of
water, snags and nesting habitat. Note the poorly marked side trail
that cuts off the paved hill climb at 228 St.
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