[Tweeters] Mt. Quail across the street from the Port Orchard Airport - West Oak Gravel Pit

Brad Waggoner wagtail at sounddsl.com
Tue Feb 1 19:23:36 PST 2005


The old Port Orchard Airport along Sidney Road in Kitsap County (see pg. 195
of A Birder's Guide to Washington) has long been a fairly reliable place to
find Mountain Quail. Recalling last fall's discussion about the grumpy man
in the white truck angrily confronting birders, the airport site should be
avoided. The owner obviously does not want birders on his property.

In the guide, Hal mentions a gravel pit across the street from the airport
as an additional place to try. Given the intimidating signs (Do Not Enter
and No Trespassing), I decided to inquire with Kitsap County as to
birdwatching access to the gravel pit. Here is the result of my
communications with Randy Casteel, Kitsap County Public Works Director:

1) The County does not object to birders walking into the property for the
purpose of birdwatching.
2) Park the vehicle to the side of the road and do not block the gate.
Kitsap County still uses this pit.
3) Do not enter if County personnel and equipment are present! For safety
purposes they can't have people walking around.
4) Randy stated that there would be less chance for conflicts with County
operations if birders visited the property on weekends.

Back on January 14th I did see a Mountain Quail at this site. I have
succeeded in finding the quail two out of four times here. As they become
more vocal in the early mornings in spring they should be easier to locate.

I am sure there must be additional sites in the south and west parts of
Kitsap County to find Mountain Quail, I just have not found them yet. I did
have 14 cross the road in front of me last fall along Stavis Creek Road,
west of Seabeck. However, the area seems to be mostly private properties. I
will keep searching for other possible sites.

Good Birding!

Brad Waggoner
Bainbridge Island, WA
mailto:wagtail at sounddsl.com

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