Thursday, February 13, 2020
MITCHELL CREEK WATERSHED
Mitchell Creek is a tributary that originates in East Bay Township adjacent to the Boardman River. It is joined by numerous small tributaries that flow through East Bay and Garfield Townships. The whole Mitchell Creek Watershed encompasses 15.7 square miles and includes my neighborhood.
The creek's tributaries end up joining and flowing into East Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. You may have seen the sign for Mitchell Creek near the State Park on US 31. Wading and boat anglers fish just off the mouth of Mitchell Creek for Steelhead in the spring and Chinook and Coho Salmon in the fall.
I decided to follow Mitchell Creek backward from the bay to my neighborhood, Woodcreek. Directly behind the bridge over Three Mile Road, the creek widens. Kayakers often use this spot for put-in near a small group of cabins.
I continued up Three Mile to a business park where the creek flowed near numerous buildings. One had this sweet little covered bridge walkway built across the creek.
I finally reached my neighborhood and crossed a small bridge at the entrance. On one side is a pond where various kinds of ducks and geese often gather.
On the other side of the bridge, Mitchell Creek actively flows.
As the creek meanders throughout the neighborhood, parts are choked with tree growth and vegetation.
Other parts of the creek are more open, and benches beckon people to sit and watch the activity of the creek in warm weather.
But what I like most about my neighborhood being part of the Mitchell Creek Watershed is the habitat it creates for waterfowl, birds, and wildlife. Deer, ducks, and fox are quite commonplace.
The neighborhood is a mecca for birders too. I’ve seen several kinds of woodpeckers, including Pileated, Hairy, and Downy Woodpeckers.
This Red-bellied Woodpecker is another neighborhood visitor and seems to have found a good meal from this tree. This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count, and I'll have more pictures of the birds that commonly frequent Woodcreek.