Text by Ted Peterson
The Edmonds Fishing Pier is a popular, productive birding location,
particularly outside summer (85 species have been reported). Near the pier, built in 1976, lies an artificial reef made of tire modules and rubble rock. The artificial reef acts as an ecosystem that enhances fishing while providing feeding opportunities for many species of birds.
During most years, the fishing pier is one of the best places in the region to see alcids. Ancient Murrelets are featured during November, often in relatively large numbers and up close. Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, and Rhinoceros Auklets are regulars, and Marbled Murrelets are occasionally seen; during the winter of 1995/96, a “Long-billed” Marbled Murrelet was photographed here (this Asian subspecies is expected to be raised to species status).
Six grebe species have been seen from the pier. In a recent one-hour period, I noted five species, including a Clark’s that has been present for several winters.
Loons are mostly fly-bys, with the Pacific being the most common feeding
nearby. Brandt’s and Pelagic Cormorants are reliably seen in season, particularly near the ferry terminal.
All three scoters are commonly seen with Blacks frequently the most numerous. Oldsquaw have been prevalentthis winter. Parasitic Jaegers are regularly observed in the fall, as are large numbers of Heermann’s Gulls. Red-necked Phalaropes are regular fall migrants, with one flock this past fall of close to one thousand.
Rarities observed in recent years include Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, Red
Phalarope, Long -tailedJ aeger, Little Gull, Common Black-headed Gull, Blacklegged Kittiwake, Snowy Owl, and Shorteared Owl.
To reach the pier, take S.R. 104 west from 1-5,following signs to the Edmonds Kingston Ferry Terminal. Turn left at the stop light at Dayton Street, just before the ferry toll booths. Where the road curves left just beyond the railroad tracks, watch for a pier-use parking area on the right.