[Tweeters] King County rarities (not)
birdmarymoor at gmail.com
birdmarymoor at gmail.com
Sat May 15 18:37:55 PDT 2021
Dennis - I've seen King County state the goal of reducing Reed Canary-Grass.
This particular area in Redmond was a big, flat, Reed Canary-Grass meadow.
They constructed the ponds and planted the willows which, they probably
would say, are there to shade out the grass. (There may also be some Rules
imposed by the state, or Federally, prohibiting leaving exposed mud, for
fear that it will lead to turbidity in stream water, but that shouldn't be
applicable in areas that are as level as this meadow).
I think planting willows to get rid of Reed Canary-Grass is misguided. They
did this on 204th St. down in the Kent area, converting a weedy farm field
that seasonally flooded (providing excellent shorebird habitat) into a dense
willow grove of many acres. The willows are drying this area and, if left
alone, it will eventually become a Doug Fir forest in all likelihood. It
will never again be a wetland.
It's like they never took a Wetlands Ecology course, in which they might
have learned the sequence of wetland succession. Willows coming in is the
final stage, leading to soil drying and the deposition of additional soil.
Only a major flood/scouring event will revert a willow thicket back to a
nascent wetland (or beavers will do it, but they need an active stream to
I have long felt that educating the state and county about this should be
the #1 priority of Seattle Audubon conservation efforts. Meadows should not
be converted to forest, and wetland conservation should not destroy Class 3
wetlands by converting them to forests.
From: Dennis Paulson
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 6:03 PM
Cc: TWEETERS tweeters
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] King County rarities (not)
Alan, you made a good point here in your last sentence. I don’t know why
people plant willows around wetlands like this, thereby fairly quickly
destroying their value as shorebird habitat. It’s been done at Montlake
Fill, it’s been done at Magnuson Park, and I know it’s been done at other
constructed wetlands. Willows and cottonwoods come in soon enough on their
own, and my recommendation has always been to actively manage for
shorebirds—clear out the woody vegetation that invariably becomes
established at such places and not only ruins it for shorebirds and some
other wetland species but even eliminates the views that birders cherished
before the trees blocked them.
We have lots of trees in this area but not lots of open meadows and
wetlands. What is not liked about the latter scarce habitats?
I don’t know why the various agencies have this bias, and it would be good
to bring out in the open and discuss in the environmental community. There
seems to be no trace of an environmental master plan for the region.
> On May 15, 2021, at 4:48 PM, pan <panmail at mailfence.com> wrote:
> I made the wrong decision last minute this morning and went east to
> Redmond rather than my usual Discovery Park (where goodies reported).
> Just so you know it's not a given, I spent an hour scoping the wetlands
> off Avondale Road around 85th, and did not see Pectoral Sandpiper.
> Greater Yellowlegs, 3
> Spotted Sandpiper, 1
> Long-billed Dowitcher, 1
> Killdeer, ~4
> Blue-winged Teal, 1
> Cinnamon Teal, 1 (a couple females unidentified at distance)
> Great Blue Heron
> others, including a male Lazuli Bunting
> The farthest east pond, also farthest from view, across from about 90th,
> where a couple Pectorals were reported yesterday, had only a yellowlegs
> and a couple crows wading. These wetlands will probably close up in a
> year or two with all the willows planted.
> 15 May, 2021,
> Alan Grenon
> panmail AT mailfence.com
> Tweeters mailing list
> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
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