STILTS BREEDING AT RIDGEFIELD NWR

WAYNE WEBER contopus at home.com
Tue Jun 26 21:28:36 PDT 2001


Tweeters (and OBOLinks)

Having just returned to Kamloops yesterday after 10 days away from my
computer, I was slightly disappointed to read the attached message
from Patrick and Ruth Sullivan about the discovery of BLACK-NECKED
STILT chicks at the River S Unit of Ridgefield NWR. On Monday, June
18, I birded Ridgefield, and thought that perhaps I had been the first
to document breeding. Patrick, Ruth, and Marv, you scooped me by one
day! At any rate, the important thing is, as noted by Patrick, we now
have the first confirmed breeding record of BLACK-NECKED STILT for
western Washington. Hopefully, other birders will be able to make
further observations on the progress of the stilt nesting effort.

My observations were slightly different from those of Patrick, Ruth,
and Marv, so I'll put them on record anyway. I observed only 5 adult
stilts, with a possible 6th bird seen briefly along the new walking
trail on the northwest side of the auto loop. I also saw 3 stilt
chicks, which appeared to be about 1-2 weeks old (less than 1/3 adult
size). However, one of them was some distance from the other two, and
appeared to belong to a different pair of birds. The chicks were
mobile and actively feeding. The female of each pair remained fairly
close to the chick(s), more so than the males, one of which approached
me and seemed to protest my presence.
On one occasion, the lone chick was brooded by the adult female for
several minutes. I watched the birds for about an hour.

In the same area were a female WILSON'S PHALAROPE (no male was seen),
a LEAST SANDPIPER, and two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS.  Like the
Sullivans, I also suspected breeding by BLACK TERNS; at least 6 birds
were constantly flying back and forth over the marsh, but there was no
definite indication of breeding.

I'll try to post a complete list of species seen at Ridgefield on the
18th soon.

By way of an anticlimax, my old (1987) car finally kicked the bucket
on the afternoon of June 18th, as I was driving east on I-84 near
Multnomah Falls, Oregon. The White-faced Ibises of Kahlotus Lake will
remain a myth to me-- maybe, with luck, they'll return next year. In
the ensuing hassles, I did not make it back home until June 25th,
instead of June 20th as I had planned. However, the good news is that
I am now the owner of a 1998 Ford Escort, which I hope will provide
much more reliable transportation than its predecessor!

Now, Patrick, Ruth, and Marv, if you had only been at the WOS meeting
in The Dalles the way you should have been, we could all have birded
Ridgefield together on the 18th and taken joint credit for confirming
the breeding of Stilts-----  just kidding!

At any rate, it was a great meeting, and I'm grateful to everyone who
contributed to making it happen. And thank goodness my car expired
AFTER the WOS meeting instead of beforehand!

Wayne C. Weber
Kamloops, BC
contopus at home.com



----- Original Message -----
From: Ruth Sullivan <godwit at worldnet.att.net>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 7:38 PM
Subject: Ridgefield NWR sightings


> Hello Tweets,
>
>
> At 10am we arrived at the River S Unit of Ridgefield NWR, where we
were
> later joined by Marv, who remained with us throughout our stay here
until
> 1:30pm. The weather throughout the day consisted of low morning
cloudiness
> turning to mostly sunny skies and warming temperatures by 1pm, with
moderate
> wind at times. Our main and best highlight was a COMFIRMED breeding
record
> of BLACK-NECKED STILT, as one pair was noted with 3 young, with 6
other
> additional adult bird in the same vicinity, as noted along the
driving
> "loop". This record could very well be the first comfirmed breeding
record
> of this species in western WA, which was recently suspected of
breeding due
> to the amount of adults, and their length of stay at this location.
I am
> aware of only one probable breeding record for western WA from
northern
> Thurston Co., presumeably Nisqually NWR, as noted in the Breeding
Birds of
> Washington State Breeding Bird Atlas. It is very possible that other
pairs
> of Black-necked Stilts at the River S Unit of Ridgefield NWR may
also
> successfully breed this year, with added observations into the
summer
> months. Another probable first breeding record for western WA could
be the
> nearby BLACK TERNS at this location, with there continued stay of a
total of
> 8 adults noted during our visit,(with 7 birds over Rest Lake at one
time,
> with an additional isolated bird foraging by itself near the refuge
> entrance) but NO evidence of breeding, as of yet.
>
> Other notable species during our visit included:
>
> 5 Am.Bitterns
> 6 GREAT EGRETS
> 1 TUNDRA SWAN(injured)
> 17 GREEN-WINGED TEAL
> 8 female NORTHERN PINTAILS
> 82 Cinnamon Teal(with additional young noted)
> 46 Blue-winged Teal
> 1 pair of AM.WIGEON(possible breeder)
> 1 pair of Ring-necked Ducks
> 2 male LESSER SCAUPS
> 23 RUDDY DUCKS(presumed breeding on Rest Lake)
> 1 Am.Kestrel
> 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS
> 2 Spotted Sandpipers
> 1 pair of WILSON'S PHALAROPES(presumed breeding)
> 2 Great Horned Owls(1 adult,1 young)
> 12 Purple Martins
> 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
> 1 Cassin's Vireo
> 1 male Lazuli Bunting
> 14 Yellow-headed Blackbirds(presumed breeding)
>
>
> Good birding,
>
> Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
> GODWIT@ worldnet.att.net
>




More information about the Tweeters mailing list