The only nature experience most people headed to Jetty Island seem in search of is poking their toes in the sand. As you ride across the Everett harbor to the island on the jam-packed ferry, toddlers bounce on knees and kids are lathered up with banana-scented sunblock for a swim in the shallow, warm waters, the island’s main draw. But among the crowds you’ll also spy quieter types with binoculars and bird books.
Follow them, and you’ll find the island’s grassy dunes and saltwater lagoon, a destination for area birders who come to look for a long list of birds with a preference for ocean beach habitat. If you’ve never seen a Caspian tern, a spotted sandpiper, or a black-bellied plover, you might find them here, along with many other shorebirds. In winter, a wide array of ducks visit, including gadwalls, northern pintails, ruddy ducks, northern shovelers, and American and Eurasian wigeons.
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