A walk down the hedges of Paradise Valley on 111th may be very productive during spring and fall migrations.
In spring, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's, Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Grey and Townsend's Warblers sing from the wet fields, brush or adjacent woods. The wooded area around the intersection of 212th Place and 111th offers one of the most reliable locations for Western Wood Pewee. Barred Owls have nested nearby for at least five years. Where Judd Creek crosses 216th is always good for Steller's Jays and Bushtits as well as many sparrows and warblers in season.
At the north end of the valley, Singer Road leads south from Cemetery Road through several good habitat types. At the north end of Singer Road, the thick coniferous woods by the cemetery and Sportsman's Club host Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Brown Creeper in spring and Varied Thrush in winter. From the southwest corner of the cemetery, one can look down on a small doughnut-shaped pond visited by ducks and one fall, Greater White-fronted Geese.
To visit Paradise Valley, take 204th westbound from its intersection with Vashon Highway in central Vashon. At 0.7 miles, 204th curves south, turning into 111th and follows the length of the valley. Find the north end of the valley by continuing straight west on 204th at this curve. Singer Pond is one mile west of the highway intersection.
Going south along Singer Road, look for farm pastures where Red-tailed Hawk perch along the power lines and many swallows fly overhead in summer. Where Singer Road meets 204th, Singer Pond is worth a look for ducks year-round. Late fall through mid-spring, wigeon and Bufflehead visit regularly. A pair of Redheads was noted here once in spring migration. In the summer of 2002, Hooded Mergansers nested in the nearby woods and brought young down to the pond. Dark-eyed Junco and Pacific-slope Flycatcher nest in the woods along the road at this intersection. Cassin's and Warbling Vireos, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Tanager, and Black-headed Grosbeak may be noted during the spring migration or the breeding season. A Townsend's Solitaire appeared here in April 1999.
The area may also be found from the north by heading west from Vashon Highway on Cemetery Road and turning left or south on Singer Road. The north entrance to Singer Road looks like the entry to the cemetery itself but continues south to 204th.
From Birds of Vashon Island by Ed Swan, Vashon birding guide 206-463-7976
Photos by Richard Rogers