Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland, WA - 22 January 07

Published by Louise Rutter (louise.rutter AT eelpi.gotdns.org)


Juanita Bay Park is a small (only 114 acres) suburban park on an inlet of Lake Washington. It contains a mixture of wetland (both marsh and shoreline for waders) and riparian habitats on what used to be an old golf course. The benefit of a park in the middle of such a built-up region is, of course, a concentration of relatively people-tolerant birds into one area. It's a regular site for me, and if you want to run up a quick check-list of birds common to this area in a narrow window of time, the park's a good place to do it.

There are areas of open lawn with mature willow trees and expanses of both bullrush and wooded marshland, separated by a tangle of low scrub, much of it invading blackberry - popular with many of the birds, if not with park management! There are two boardwalks through marshland to viewing areas over the lake, and a further boardwalk along the lakeshore past the remains of the old steamboat jetty, now providing cormorant perches. There's also a beaver pond across Juanita Creek just before it enters the lake.

I spent two hours there on a cool, mainly overcast morning from around 10.30 and notched up quite a list of regulars. I see bald eagles overhead or perched in trees on about a third of my visits of this length, and ospreys are seasonal visitors.

Species Lists

American Coot, American Crow, American Robin, Bewick's Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, Bufflehead, Bushtit, California Quail, Common Merganser, Dark-eyed Junco, Double-crested Cormorant, Fox Sparrow, Gadwall, Great Blue Heron, Green-winged Teal, Hairy Woodpecker, House Finch, House Sparrow, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Pied-billed Grebe, Red-winged Blackbird, Ring-billed Gull, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Yellow-rumped Warbler