The pond itself consists of about ten acres ringed by spirea, sedges and rushes on the south side, mature conifer forest around the rest of the shoreline and a thin perimeter of alder and willow with some Quaking Aspen. Pondweed and lily pads cover the surface in summer. In most years much of the pond dries, leaving expanses of mud.
Mallards and Wood Ducks breed at the pond and stay year round. In the fall, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, and Bufflehead join them. A smattering of other ducks pops up now and then such as wigeon, goldeneye, very rarely a Gadwall and once, one of the island's few records of Blue-winged Teal. A Trumpeter Swan visited for a day in the winter of 2002. Bald Eagles swoop down occasionally after the ducks and Ospreys visit for a little fishing.
In October, before the November rains cover up the muddy areas of the pond, this location offers the best spot to find Wilson's Snipe. From July through September other shorebirds sometimes appear such as Western Sandpipers and dowitcher. Killdeer show up whenever mud is exposed.
In early spring, Fisher Pond often has the first sightings of Northern Rough-winged, Violet-green and Barn Swallows. Tree Swallows, rare on the island, breed sometimes in the nest boxes. The woods along the edge of the pond attract a wide variety of forest birds such as Townsend's Warblers, Hutton's Vireo, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren and Pileated Woodpecker. The brush along the road draw many warbler species, sparrows and Rufous Hummingbirds.
From the four-way stop at the intersection of Vashon Highway and Bank Road in town, head west on Bank Road 1.2 miles. From the west, turn-off the Westside Highway onto Thorsen Road. As you head east, Thorsen turns into Bank Road. It is also 1.2 miles from Westside Highway to Fisher Pond. The best spot to park and bird is a narrow gravel pull-off at the 1.2 mile point from either direction. Fisher Pond lies along the north side of the road behind a wall of blackberries.
A trail leads through concrete blocks about fifteen feet to a view of the east end of the pond. In recent years, a second trail through the blackberry wall has started from a point about thirty feet west of the gravel pull-off. This is the best viewpoint with looks along the whole pond.
A third location allows a view along the length of the pond from the west end. Turn into the first driveway to the west of the gravel pull-off, about a quarter-mile away at the top of a rise, and follow the driveway to the back of the barn structure. A caretaker still lives in this building, the former home and workshop of Bill Fisher, so please move quietly. A wide trail runs to the north through the woods to the edge of the pond. This trail actually continues to go all of the way around the pond to come out on Bank Road on the hill east of the pond. The path provides a very nice walk through the woods but no other views of the pond.
From Birds of Vashon Island by Ed Swan, Vashon birding guide 206-463-7976
Photos by Pete Murray
Land Trust info