[Tweeters] WOS Clark County weekend wrap-up

Randy re_hill at q.com
Mon Feb 25 00:13:26 PST 2019

Today (oops, now yesterday) we finished up the third day of the WOS weekend
tours in Cowlitz and Clark County. We didn't have total relief from
forecasted weather, but I won't complain considering how wet and snowy it
could have been.

Friday afternoon was a trip for 8 around the Woodland Bottoms. Under the
capable leadership of Russ Koppendrayer and a considerable assist from Cindy
McCormack we braved mostly wet clothing and optics, and cold hands (but no
snow) in building a list of 55+ species. Plenty of Sandhill Cranes, 3 or
more N. Rough-legged Hawks, a Red-throated Loon, and Black Phoebes in two
locations were among the notables.

Saturday's tour of the Vancouver Lowlands included a sample of 12 locations
with only some afternoon showers to briefly temper the enthusiasm for the 10
of us. Targets that included Snowy Egret, Lesser Goldfinch (lots!) and a
broad range of waterfowl were among 85+ species encountered. The Tufted
Duck that was missed on several scouting trips over the last two weeks was
rediscovered by Cindy at our last stop, although only Cindy got a look
before the 5K+ flock of scaup off Wintler Park shifted and flew with river
traffic and were tough to sort through in declining light conditions.

Even as snowflakes were falling just before our scheduled start Sunday
morning, the plan to bird upslope in east Clark County already had shifted
to Ridgefield NWR. Probably a good choice as 7 of us had a fairly dry hike
in the Carty Unit, following Cindy's super-sonic detections to Hutton's
Vireo, canopy-foraging dots, and the two Swamp Sparrows at the end of the
trail that tried to play hide-and-seek with everyone. After a trip around
the River S Unit, 5 of us returned to Wintler Park to look again for the
Tufted Duck with a little more time to search. After several quick
sightings and disappearing acts over the next hour, all were rewarded with a
look at the shaggy-topped male in good light. A nice way to finish a
weekend that ended with smiles among friends old and new. Check ebird for
the three days of species lists.

As a final note, anyone expecting to visit the River S Unit in 2019 should
check the Ridgefield NWR website or call the office (360-887-4106) for
information about weekday closures. Construction associated with bridge
replacement over Lake River is expected beginning in March.

Randy Hill


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