[Tweeters] Problem at the Fill

AMY DAVIS aldavis at q.com
Tue May 19 13:39:27 PDT 2009

While I was birding at the Montlake Fill on Sunday afternoon I saw something I'd never seen before that was quite distressing: canoes and kayaks on the southwest pond. I don't know if this happens occasionally in summer, or if it's something new, due to the unusually high water level making it more accessible.

In any case, I wasn't the only one distressed. With three kayaks and a canoe on the tiny pond, there was not much room for the birds. The great blue heron who had been fishing there all morning immediately took off--emitting a piercing screech as he lifted over the boats. The two cinnamon teals sunning on the logs darted away, the grebe raced for the reeds, and the blackbirds building a nest in the cattails threw a fit.

The unwitting boaters continued to dip their oars perilously close to the areas where grebes and others are nesting. I called out to them to leave, but they were slow to do so. Ive never really looked, but I don't recall ever seeing a sign designating this pond as protected, which it should be.

I am not familiar with CUH or UBNA staff or policies, but if anyone has suggestions for who to approach about this , I would greatly appreciate them. Also, if there is any money left from the whiteboard project, perhaps it could go towards signage for better protection of precarious spots like this. The southwest pond is a magical place--and a vital part of the Fill ecosystem. I hope it can remain that way.

Amy Davis,
aldavis at q.com
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