Lake Sammamish State Park (Issaquah)
In one morning here you can bird a great diversity of habitat: beaches, woods, meadows, and Issaquah Creek as it flows into Lake Sammamish.
Contributed by Stan Wood
How to bird it: Prime spots to see ducks on the lake are the two swimming beaches and the boat launch area. Typical are Scaup, Goldeneye, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Common Merganser, Western Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, and Horned Grebe. In Issaquah Creek, expect Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser.
The trail between the two beaches is good for woodland birds, as is the trail along Issaquah Creek. You can follow the creekside trail from the lake, or take one of the trails south of the beach parking lots and follow the creek upstream through woodlands to meadows.
If you’re lucky: You may see Redhead or Canvasback ducks on the lake.
Practicalities: The trails can be very muddy, and I recommend rubber boots or waterproof boots. If you have a scope, it can be helpful for seeing birds on the water. A Washington State Discover Pass is required for vehicle access; see http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/.
Photo: Canvasback by Sunny Walter
Stan Wood co-leads the monthly Eastside Audubon birding walk at West Lake Sammamish Park. (Check the Eastside Audubon calendar for details.)