Early one morning, while on vacation and on our way to somewhere else, our daughter-in-law, Hubby and myself, spotted a turnout on the side of the highway. We decided to check it out, so we parked the car and took a look.
*Clicking on a photo will give you a closer look!
There were no signs and no one else was there.
So very peaceful…a really lovely spot!
We didn’t know it at the time, but we happened upon the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve. While editing photos, I learned about this wonderful spot from reading here and here.
Turns out that this area is quite fabulous! Here is a bit of what I read about it:
The mudflats protected at Kennedy Creek NAP provide critical feeding areas for more than 140 species of birds including large concentrations of shorebirds and predatory species like peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks. In a single day, 10,000 migratory shorebirds have been counted in the estuary. Each winter, an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 dunlin spend the cold months at Kennedy Creek. This is the largest concentration in central and southern Puget Sound. The site also supports one of the largest concentrations of wintering and migrating black-bellied plovers in the region.
Kennedy Creek provides habitat for coastal cutthroat trout, steelhead, and Coho salmon. The site is known for its robust run of fall chum. Between October and December, on average 21,000 chum return to spawn in 2.5 miles of freshwater at Kennedy Creek. After spawning, the salmon carcasses provide important marine derived nutrients to the riparian and estuarine ecosystem, sustaining the health of the flora and fauna. The nutrients from the thousands of carcasses supplement the diets of newly emerged chum fry along with more than 60 different species of wildlife, including the northern river otter, red-tailed hawk and bobcat. Invertebrates living in the intertidal muck consume the carcasses that wash down the creek, after which they are, in turn, consumed by shorebirds.
Now I want to go back…maybe more than once…and definitely see this spot in the winter! There is much more to explore!
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
See the world around you!