[Tweeters] Windy Skamania County--Surf Scoter, Ruddy Duck

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Wed Oct 30 22:54:22 PDT 2019

Penny and Tweets, Congratulations on the Surf Scoter and the Ruddy Duck, both difficult birds to find in Skamania County. This year we have had all three scoters and a King Eider (Oregon side of the river) in the Gorge. Surf Scoters are more common here than the Ruddy Duck you saw, I have only seen a handful of Ruddys over the fifty years I have been birding here. The pond at Skamania Landing looks like it would be an excellent shorebird spot but that isn't the case. The pond was created by damming a creek that had a Chum Salmon run in it, an endangered species in the Columbia River. A couple of decades ago the WDF&W ruled that the dam had to be removed or modified to allow salmon passage. The homeowners association replaced the dam with one that could be completely opened to drain the lake and agreed to do this every year before the fish return in November and close the dam only after the young salmon leave in early spring. So those mudflats aren't there during either the spring or fall shorebird migration periods. There are very few people who bird this county during the winter due to the east winds, we live across the river and 300" higher from the weather reporting station at the Vista House in Oregon where they recorded a top wind of 82mph today. Wilson Cady
Columbia River Gorge, WA

---------- Original Message ----------
From: <plkoyama at comcast.net>
To: "Tweeters" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Windy Skamania County--Surf Scoter, Ruddy Duck
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 17:21:36 -0700

Tweets,This has no doubt already been reported, but David and I were away for much of Oct and it took a while to get back on our various notifications—we picked this up from e-bird. The young male Surf Scoter remains at Rock Creek Park in Stevenson, at what I call the “far end” of the lake (and which e-bird calls Rock Creek Mill Pond) but well west of where the creek enters the park. It was alone, and actively feeding. Also present, and previously listed on e-bird by John Bishop (thank you very much) were 3 White-fronted Geese, 2 with several Cackling Geese on the lawn and 1 with the domestic Graylag and hybrid types at the water’s edge. There was a single Ruddy Duck in the middle of the lake, as well. All of these were good birds for us in Skamania. On the way to Stevenson we stopped at Skamania Landing, where a Surf Scoter had also been reported. It was super-windy there, really hold-onto-your-scope stuff. Many of the usual water fowl were on the water, which, by the way, was the lowest we’ve ever seen it with lots of mud exposed—it might have been great for shorebird migration in a county where those birds are hard to come by. We couldn’t locate the SUSC that had been reported there, though it’s hard to see much of the deeper water due to everything but the road being private property. But from the bridge, there were 2 Snow Geese, which we saw fly off and 3 Great Egrets. There was also a Great Egret at Home Valley Park. And it was really nice to see several pair of Varied Thrush at various sites, just a code 1, but I love them! There really should be a law against that kind of wind, though...Penny Koyama, Bothell
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