Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Day of Adventure and Exploring

Recently I resigned from my volunteer position at Salem Audubon Nature Reserve in West Salem.  Now with Wednesdays free, I decided to take Jeanette and Buster on a day of adventure, and explore a new park for us to bird watch.  My target for the day was Mt. Fir Park in the near-by town of Independence. This park is rather secluded which is probably why it was unknown to us and probably others. It is located off of F Street between 7th and 9th Streets. The 7 acre park borders the South Fork of Ash Creek and has an additional entrance from G Street. Originally, the land was part of the Mt. Fir Lumber Mill, but the land was donated to the city in the early 90's.

Inspiration Garden, developed by OSU Polk County Master Gardeners, is the centerpiece of the park. A concrete path, installed by the City of Independence, runs the length of the garden providing exellent all weather foot travel and handicap access.

Ash Creek borders the west side of Mt. Fir Park and provides a ripairian habit for birds and particularly water fowl like this pair of Mallards. See our bird list here.

We are excited about returning to this park in the seasons ahead as the plants, shrubs and trees blossom and lure in all kinds of birds. Also included in our day was an earlier stop at Sarah Helmick State Park for Buster, see our bird list here,  and a stop at Suver Junction to photograph Tundra and Trumpeter Swans, see that bird list here. Our lunch stop was at the Pink House in Independence.

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