Osprey chicks fledged and landed on power pole

Freeway Osprey Fledge

Despite the odds of growing up next to a busy freeway, high voltage power lines, a cell phone tower and a large clutch, the three Osprey babies have flown out of the nest.  In this picture below you can see two of the chicks on a pole, a parent or baby on the cell tower and if you look close another osprey on the very top of the tower.

find the 4 Osprey

find the 4 Osprey

Over the last couple of days each morning and evening drive home I would stop by and take a few pictures.  Here is the parent flying over me to make sure I am not going to cause the babies harm.

Parent Osprey checking me out

Parent Osprey checking me out

One of the babies sat on the nest cam post not really sure what to do next.

Osprey chick uncertain of flying off nest

Osprey chick uncertain of flying off nest

Step back a little and the next picture shows how the camera got a direct poop shot.  The picture we watched for the last couple of weeks was hazy but one could still tell what they were up to.

Osprey Nest Cam got direct poop shot

Osprey Nest Cam got direct poop shot

As the nest got full of big babies, the cell tower next door became a popular place to perch and watch the brood.

I leave you with a picture and video of their world.   The video is more about the sounds it brings than the picture.  Listen to the roar of the freeway off to the left of the picture.  Above that din the parent Osprey chirps to the children.  It is high-pitched and not what you expect in a bird sound but that is the osprey way.

What an adventure & many thank yous to Mr. Racks for hosting the nest camera.

Freeway Osprey world - power lines and cell tower

Freeway Osprey world – power lines and cell tower

Eaglet posing

Kent Eaglet

As I traversed the Green River Trail over the last couple of weeks, I heard over and over about the Eagles down in Kent.  I finally made it to that point and was not disappointed.

Not only did I find the Eagles but this is my 400th Crows of Arroyos posts.  This blog adventure started in November 2010.  What a long journey it has been.  Thank you to everyone’s kind words and support

Yesterday, when I first walked up to the trail entrance, I knew this was the place.  There was a gentleman with a camera on a tripod.  He was very helpful and pointed out where the nest was.

Kent Eagle Nest - Girl Eaglet is still inside

Kent Eagle Nest – Girl Eaglet is still inside

Later when I came back from walking the trail a bit, I got this good shot of the nest.  In hindsight if he had not been there I might have found it just by the poop trail running down the foliage.

Kent Eagle Nest Tree - See white poop on lower left side?

Kent Eagle Nest Tree – See white poop on lower left side?

The first time I saw the boy eagle was when my tutor said “incoming”.  There he was landing on the right side of the nest tree.  Not long after one of his parents came flying in. Then a lot of eagle talk started to happen.  My tutor again told me that most of the sound was from the girl eagle still deep inside the nest.  She had not fledged yet and the parents were giving the pair some tough love.  The shots I got of him at this point were kind of fuzzy and he was shielded by leaves too.   I think the high power equipment of my fellow watcher intimated me and plus I had left my tripod at home.

So, I went down the trail to get back to where I had left off to the north. Back on my quest to walk the trail from end to end.  When I returned, I saw the gentleman tutor leaving.  I was able to sit down on a bench and compose myself to get the photos you see here.  The boy had moved closer to the nest and I had a steady hand.

Kent Boy Eaglet waiting for lunch

Kent Boy Eaglet awaiting lunch

Eagle Nest and male eaglet

Eagle Nest and male eaglet

Then it was my turn to educate others.  As I sat on the bench, a golfer behind the fence that separated the trail from the course shouted out “hey Birdwatcher Lady”. He wanted to know where the nest was. This eagle nest is an urban legend in Kent as I had already found out weeks ago. I happily went over to the fence and pointed it out.  Then lent my binoculars for them to see it better.

I got one more shot of the nest with my high power Nikon and then a photographers nightmare happened.   My batteries died.  They had gone from half charge to no charge in moments.

Hope you enjoy this view of nature at it’s best for our American Icon.

I'm so fluffy waiting for mommie

Baby Swallow Fence Nursery

Baby birds find the darndest places to land when they fledge.  Once they get there they often stay put and let their parents come to them.

This little swallow is no exception.  On the Green River Trail there is a fence between the trail and a golf course which this little guy had landed on.  He is all fluffy and gets agitated when his mom gets close. However, he won’t fly to follow her yet.

Neely 1884 House

Neely Homestead & Green River Trail

The Green River Trail winds around past the Kent housing development that borders the river and the trail.  I parked further south than I left off last week and headed north to get back to that point.  Had to make sure my quest is totally completed.

Along the way I came upon the Neely Soames Home Park.  This is a little park inside that housing development that borders the trial and are all a uniform light-color.  This homestead was built in 1885 on the original Neely claim from 1854.   It is the oldest house in Kent, Washington and was donated in 1986 to the city by a daughter born in the house in 1895.   Here are two photos of the plaque at the front door telling the story and showing the house around 1890.

History of Neely Homestead in Kent, WA

History of Neely Homestead in Kent, WA

Neely House in 1890

Neely House in 1890

As you can see the house looks pretty much the same with some minor changes.  I was impressed by the wisteria tree growing on the front porch.  It must be decades old from the size of the branches.

Front Porch with mega wisteria tree

Front Porch with mega wisteria tree

This small park is used more for its garden than tours of the house.  Published on the back is the schedule of gardening events held here.  The backyard is a wonderful small garden with professional signs on what is growing there.

Neely House Gardens

Neely House Gardens

Neely House & garden at back

Neely House & garden at back

When I got back on the trail I noticed a baby crow flying into the old apple tree that must have been part of the homestead. I had heard this juvenile crow up by the Eagle tree and then as I walked down to the old homestead.  I am never disappointed and find crows where ever I go.  One just has to pay attention and watch out for my black friends.

Baby Crow in Neely old Apple Tree

Baby Crow behind Neely House

Baby Crow in old apple tree

Baby Crow in old apple tree

Baby Crow watching the world go by

Baby Crow watching the world go by

Further down the trail I turned around once I found my last end point.  Coming back south the view showed me a bend in the river. When I put my camera on it, I found a flock of Canadian Geese foraging and enjoying a day at the river.

Geese and Ducks in the river bend

Geese in the river bend

Canadian Geese forage in  Green River

Canadian Geese forage in Green River

I started a video of the geese but my camera decided it does not like my new SD card. Today I researched what was going on and found out I bought a card that does not have enough speed for my camera’s video.  Dang, I will never buy a non-brand name card again.

Lastly, here is a pastoral view of the river here in NW Kent.  Nature is alive right in the metropolitan area of Seattle.

Green River looks wild but at my back is a housing development

Green River looks wild but at my back is a housing development

Russell Road is still a country road

Country Road on the Green River

South of Seattle in the Kent Valley the Green River flows on.  The trail I have been following has now gotten past Southcenter and mile after mile of visible warehouses.  I had left off at the Green River Natural Resource Area on Russell Road.  That was where I parked and started walking down the road.  The Green River Trail follows along this old country road at this point. Some cars think they are on the freeway but most are respectful of us on two legs or wheels.

This is primarily a bicycle trail-path.  Kent has posted this map and there is a sculpture too.

Kent Valley Trail system map

Kent Valley Trail system map

Green River Trail is a Bicycle path

Green River Trail is a Bicycle path

This piece of the Green River Trail has another pedestrian bridge.  It crosses to the west side of the river where Frager Road is only open to walking and biking.

After I passed the bridge I found a couple of houses and a red barn that were boarded up. I assume they are being demolished to give us more natural space and park.  The barn seemed to have some recent activity in it, so I am not 100% sure what is going on.  If you read my prior post about the old house I had investigated as a girl and was scared out of my wits, you will know I have not stopped looking at empty houses.

Everywhere I go I find Crow Families. No exception along the Green River Trail today. Here are three members in a tree.  I could hear a baby crow crying across the street but never could find him.  I even tried using peanuts to coax him out or convince his parents I wasn’t a bad human.

Crow family hanging out

Crow family hanging out

Green River Crow looking frumpy

Green River Crow looking frumpy

Walking up the road I was more and more convinced I was in a rural place even though I know Kent was only a few streets away.  Then unexpectedly I started seeing a modern bridge. Eventually the trail went under this bridge away from the road.

That was when I found the 12 mile Green River Trail sign.  Had I only made it 12 miles in my 7 or so trips to traverse the path?   I decided to celebrate my walking since that meant I had made it 24 miles in total.

12 MIles?  Many walks to get here.

12 MIles? Many walks to get here.

As I got closer to my turn around point, I came upon a large development of houses next to the trail.  And looming above them was the ever-present Mt. Rainier.

Mt Rainier always there

Mt Rainier always there

Here the river bends and on the river side I was taken back to the country by a small flock of ducks swimming with the river current.  I leave you with some final still photos and a small video of the ducks.

Green River and Houses instead of Warehouses

Green River and Houses instead of Warehouses

Are we really just south of town?

Are we really just south of town?

 

Nap time on a sunny branch

Baby Bird Sun Snoozing

This little Sparrow and his family were sitting up in the tree next to our yard. Something got the attention of the flock and they all winged it away in mass. The baby who probably doesn’t fly that great and does not have flock flying confidence stayed put on his branch. After a little bit he dozed off in the setting sun’s warmth.

Here he is right after the flock flew off in a hurry. See how fluffy and light colored he is? Baby bird down feathers make him look like a plush toy.

Baby Sparrow hanging out in the sun

Baby Sparrow hanging out in the sun

Next he took a little nap as you can see in the first picture. His eye membrane covered his eye and he dozed away for about 5 minutes.   When he woke up he realized I was sitting on the deck clicking pictures of him and gave me this “What are you looking at?” look.

Are you watching me?

Are you watching me?

Beach Baby

Beach Baby

Crow babies love the beach just like human children. Their parents bring them down at low tide on a nice day to teach them how to fend for themselves.  For the first timers to baby crows, you can tell this crow above is a baby by his pink mouth corners.  Add how their voices can’t caw like an adult and you can spot them right away.

This little guy was being ignored by his parents, so he actually found a crab to eat.  He stood there with it in his beak showing everyone how proud he was.  Then he put it between his toes and proceeded to munch down.

I got a Crab Mom!!

I got a Crab Mom!!

Baby Crow feeding himself

Baby Crow feeding himself

It had only been 15 minutes before that and he was following his parent around the beach crying like any baby would. He begged for food and made a general nuisance of himself. This video gives you a good view of how crow parents start to ignore their children and how that does not go over well.  This little guy won’t give up and I have to imagine he is on his parents final nerve.  That crying over and over is like a dripping faucet at night… it can drive your crazy.

 

While this baby drama played out, a small family of crows took turns bathing.  They had taken advantage of a small tidal pool formed as the tide went out.  It was fed by fresh water drainage and the receding salt water of Puget Sound.

Crow Bath is between the two old pilings

Crow Bath is between the two old pilings

One of the youngsters took to poking around in the bath soup hoping to find some good eats.

What can I find in the bath tub soup?

What can I find in the bath tub soup?

Enjoy the dance they do with each other bathing and playing at the beach.  The larger adults hog the pool.  Watch how one smaller crow keeps trying to get in but each time he thinks the coast is clear another older crow pushes him aside.  There is a pecking order in the crow world that he must learn and remember.

 

Green River with snags in river bed

Green River flowing in the Kent Valley

Are you ready for some more Green River Trail?

I walked another few miles of the trail a couple of days ago.  I thought this next piece would be rather boring but I was in for lots of surprises including another childhood memory.

I parked just south of the Briscoe Park that I talked about at length in my last Green River Trail post.  http://wp.me/p1d1cX-18U  It is a nice new parking lot built recently along with the flood control barriers that are going up along the trail.  Several years ago the dam upstream was in danger of breaking so everyone put up temporary flood barriers.  The City of Kent is now constructing permanent barriers.

Looking back to Briscoe Park & warehouse land

Looking back to Briscoe Park & warehouse land

Briscoe Park sign way far away

Briscoe Park sign way far away – see the flood barrier on the right

South on Green River Trail from Briscoe Park

South on Green River Trail from Briscoe Park

The river winds through the valley with warehouses where there used to be farms. However, there is a lot of nature alive and well in this river corridor.  See the log in the center of the last picture above?  That is a Blue Heron on the end.  Check out what he looks like with my zoom on him.

Green River home of Blue Heron

Green River home of Blue Heron

Blue Heron on Green River

Blue Heron on Green River

I then neared the newer 200th Street Bridge.  This bridge was built to help the increased truck traffic that all the warehouses have created.  When they did this they cut off some of the old roads that followed on both sides of the river bank.   They are Frager (west side) and Russell (east side) Roads.  They still exist in shorter sections.  When I learned to drive they were unpaved gravel roads that went for miles along the river.  My boyfriend taught me to drive on Frager.  It was get it right or end up in the drink.

Back to the adventure – as I rounded the bend before the bridge, I noticed some snags in the river. One must have been an old growth tree.

The center Snag must have been a huge tree of old

Here is a little montage of the 200th street bridge and an area to the north of it that is being reclaimed.  Canadian Geese were grazing there with their babies.  Yes more nature alongside the development by man.

On the other side of the bridge is a Kent Park called Three Friends Fishing Hole.  It is a very nice little park with a covered picnic area, bathrooms, a ramp to the river and art.  If you stop by there off of 200th you can read about the three guys that the park is in memory of.

On my way back that water fountain was a hit.  I filled my hat full of water and dumped it over my head. Plus filled up my water bottle to stay hydrated on a very hot Seattle day. (for some this wasn’t hot but 85 is more than my little body likes).  Oh and I ate blackberries down by the river here.  It isn’t barely July and some were ripe.  Never seen that before, since they usually are an August or September fruit.

On my left or to the east of the trail was warehouse after warehouse.  At first on the west side of the river it was land that was flattened for more buildings.  Growth in this valley is marching on for sure.  However, I did come upon a small farm still in existence next to the river.

Farm of old in Green River

Farm on Green River

Old Barn with Horse weather vane

Old Barn with Horse weather vane

Moving along to the South I came upon the 212th Street Bridge or what I call the Orillia Road bridge.  This version isn’t too old but it has had a crossing there for a long time.

As a little girl riding my bicycle I would come down Orillia Road to cross the river there. One adventure I turned down Russell Road going back north on the east side of the river. There was a very old house that looked deserted due to the Boeing Kent Center development. The front windows had tattered curtains and old furniture lay in a heap. Reminded me of an old ghost town house.

Being curious about the house I walked around to the back thinking I might find an open door. In that day and age there weren’t any homeless people to speak of and we youngsters roamed freely with no fear.  However, this day I got the fright of my life.  In the window of the back kitchen area were tomatoes ripening.   Yikes, that meant someone still lived in this old house.  I skidattled and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.  Here are some pictures of what is there now.

Old House from my childhood adventure was here

Old House from my childhood adventure was here

Here are a few photos of what is left of Russell Road here to the north of 212th which are behind me in the above picture.

Russell Road used to be where Trail is now.

Russell Road used to be where Trail is now.

remnants of Russell Road south of 212th.

remnants of Russell Road north of 212th.

Russell Road is alive south of 212th.

Russell Road is alive south of 212th.

Under the 212th Bridge I went and found even more treasures.  I actually walked further than I should have because I had to go see a few more things.  This included a tower in the Green River Natural Resources Area and an amphibian highway.   Before I went back north, I filled my water bottle and my hat at the fountain in Anderson Park.  That is a trick I learned riding motorcycles many years ago.  Wet your scarf under your helmet for relief from the heat. So hot that day that my hat was almost dry by the time I got back to Three Friends Fishing Hole Park.

Sweet Peas frame the 212th Bridge over Green river

Sweet Peas frame the 212th Bridge over Green river

212th or Orilla Road Bridge over Green River

212th or Orilla Road Bridge over Green River

Trail looking north under 212th bridge

Trail looking north under 212th bridge

On the way back I saw this little chipmunk.  Very odd to see him here in Western Washington. Usually just squirrels running around this side of the Cascade Mountains.  He reminded me of my pet golden mantle squirrel Charlie.

Chipmunk on Green River Trail

Chipmunk on Green River Trail

Right after I saw the chipmunk I had my eagle moment.  Check out the video of him in this post.

http://wp.me/p1d1cX-19f

It was so hot that once I got back over the 200th street bridge, I diverted to the streets that wind around the warehouses.  They were shaded so it was cooler than up on the hot asphalt trail in the glaring sun.  I leave you with this giant gear on display by Robbins Corp outside their building.

Huge Gear at Robbins Corp in Green River Valley

Huge Gear at Robbins Corp in Green River Valley