Priest Point Park
by Bob Morse
Priest Point Park is a City of Olympia park with a mixture of mature coniferous and deciduous woods and lush understory. There is access to a rocky beach, mudflats, a number of picnic areas, and restrooms. Some of the best birding is on the west side of the park.
Ellis Cove at low tide.
To reach Priest Point Park, take exit 105B from I-5. Follow Plum Street north. Continue past 4th Avenue. Plum Street becomes East Bay Drive NE as it follows along the eastern shoreline of East Bay in Budd Inlet. After about 2 miles you will reach Priest Point Park on East Bay Drive.
While you are on your way to Priest Point Park, you might want to stop and check out the Purple Martin colony in East Bay.
Bird Watching Notes
Typical birds include Northern Flicker, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers (Pileated are best seen early in the morning working the stumps below and around kitchen 3). Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red-breasted nuthatch, and both kinglets can be found in these woods. Brown Creeper have nested in the maple east of kitchen 3 in the park island.
Osprey nest in the tall snag north of Ellis Cove. The mudflats and rocky beach host Greater Yellowlegs, Western and Least Sandpipers, and Dunlin (especially in winter). Cormorants, Mallard, Glaucous-winged Gull, Great Blue Heron, and Kingfisher are often nearby. Watch out for passing Bald Eagle and Pigeon Guillemot. Band-tailed Pigeon frequent the trees to the south of the cove.
The Ellis Cove trail and other park trails provide plenty of opportunity to get away from noisy traffic and picnickers and listen for birds.
(notes by Bob Morse; trail map by Nikki McClure and Tammy Pelletier)
Black Hills Audubon Society
Bird Watching in Washington
Tweeters Recent Bird Sightings
Send comments about our web site to Greg Pelletier:
Thanks to Bob Morse for getting this project started! Others who also contributed to this web site are:
Michael Clegg, Woody Franzen, Larry Goldstein, Jim Lynch, John Lynch, Sheila McCartan, Nikki McClure,
Tammy Pelletier, Brian Price, Scott Richardson, Bill Shelmerdine, Ruth Sullivan, Bill Ward, Cedar Wells,
and the City of Olympia Water Resources Program