[Tweeters] King County rarities (not)

Steve Hampton stevechampton at gmail.com
Sat May 15 21:36:01 PDT 2021

Dennis et al,

I've seen this same battle fought -- and lost -- in the San Francisco Bay
area, where agencies would rather let spartina take over than manage for
shorebirds, which generally requires active mgmt of water levels, as much
an art as a science, especially if you're juggling tides, water quality
issues, mosquitos, etc. The SF Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) collected lots
of data and fought hard for shorebirds but ultimately got minimal results.

Years ago I wrote a paper on successful shorebird habitat creation at a
managed wetland in Davis, CA. That paper is here and provides some evidence
that it is possible:

I'm sure SFBBO has more material.

On Sat, May 15, 2021 at 7:02 PM Scott Downes <downess at charter.net> wrote:

> Michael, Dennis, Alan and other interested Tweeters. Completely agree on

> this and some of the other habitat restoration. Often it gets way too

> “cookbook”, I.e. let’s plant them all the same instead of looking at

> habitat value and what habitat types are limited in the area.

> I believe the woody plant question comes from some of the cookbook wetland

> mitigation ratios developed. I think it would be an excellent engagement on

> this subject, probably starting with Dept of Ecology and Army Corp since

> they often are at the spear point of how wetland mitigation is directed.


> Scott Downes

> Downess at charter.net

> Yakima Wa


> > On May 15, 2021, at 6:40 PM, birdmarymoor at gmail.com wrote:

> >

> > 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

> dam).

> >

> > 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.

> >

> > = Michael

> >

> > -----Original Message----- From: Dennis Paulson

> > Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 6:03 PM

> > To: pan

> > 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.

> >

> > Dennis Paulson

> > Seattle

> >

> >> On May 15, 2021, at 4:48 PM, pan <panmail at mailfence.com> wrote:

> >>

> >> Tweets,

> >>

> >> 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

> >> Osprey

> >> 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

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> >

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Steve Hampton
Port Townsend, WA
*Qatay, S'Klallam territory*
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