Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Photo by Craig Kerns
Do you have a question for Christine Southwick, The Bird Lady? Send it to us.
Reader Chuck Dolan asks:
Could you give me a sense of diversity of birds found in and around Paramount Park. Heard rumors of barred owls, I would guess pileated woodpeckers but can you confirm and mention any others of note.
Christine Southwick's answer:
First there are two Paramount Park areas: Paramount School Park, and Paramount Open Space.
The school park is a large, open, heavily-used park that gets robins, starlings and gulls plus other fly-overs. It is a park built upon school property, so at some time in Shoreline's growing future, it could revert back to a school structure.
The second park area is an open space with trails; a reasonably large natural pond which is part of the Thornton Creek watershed; lots of trees and bushes, and one or two benches. It is a place where people can feel like they are surrounded by nature, and able to see wildlife, less than a block from NE 145th Street. (located at 946 NE 147th Street (drive on 10th from NE 155 and turn left on 147th)
There are a variety of local birds that use this area: both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows, Bewick's Wrens, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Steller's Jays (and probably a crow or two), American Robins.
Pileated Woodpeckers use this area, judging by the elongated holes, therefore I would assume Downy and Hairy also use it at times. Mallards have been seen on the pond, and at least one Barred Owl hunts here (maybe it will take the Eastern Gray Squirrels). I would think that at certain seasons other ducks would also stop here. This looks like a good pond for turtles, but I haven't looked for them.
Since river otters have been seen at nearby Twin Ponds, I wouldn't be surprised if one occasionally checks out this pond. Any wooded wet area in Shoreline should have salamanders, probably frogs (hopefully chorus), and of course traveling raccoons, and an occasional opossum.