[Tweeters] Clark's Grebes Vancouver Lake

Randy Hill re_hill at q.com
Fri May 19 20:53:11 PDT 2017

Yesterday afternoon I headed down Lower River Road to see if any of the
Franklin's Gulls reported recently stopped over for a visit. The Columbia
River remains quite high and there is plenty of flooded bottomland. I
checked Vancouver Lake from the flushing channel, and three of the closest
four birds on the lake were Clark's Grebes. Two others were seen further
out, and the most distant grebe flock had at least five more showing
strongly orange bills versus the dull grayer yellow bills of Western Grebes.
There was a buildup of rowing craft in the park for an event that may have
occurred yesterday or today, possibly to extend through the weekend. The
LaFrambois Road boat access at the south end is under water so views of the
lake are quite limited from there.

At the end of Lower River Road (now gated and private - please respect no
trespass signs) the dike that separates private from the Shillapoo Wildlife
Area is still an option for getting a little farther north toward Post
Office Lake. A foraging flock of 7 and a loafing flock of 6 Am White
Pelicans were visible looking north.

Today at Steigerwald Lake NWR there were 10+ Bank Swallows visiting a cut
bank along the Columbia River behind Purple Martin pole B where N
Rough-winged Swallows were taking nest material into holes. It looks
promising for them to establish this year.

Randy Hill


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