[Tweeters] Birding JBLM 2016

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at outlook.com
Sat Jan 2 19:09:31 PST 2016


Weighing in here after Tom’s note: I think Nathanael has done a fine job on getting info re: JBLM via his website. This, coupled with the WA ABA guide, should give almost everyone an intermediate guide to finding birds on JBLM.

Just a few notes:

* Nathanael’s detailed instructions on how to get an Area Access card are spot-on.

* Area access cards are NOT vehicle passes, so if you want to get onto the base via the main gate (I-5 exit 120) or the Dupont gate ((I-5 exit 119), you must have get a vehicle pass. (You don’t need a vehicle pass just to access the training areas if you have your access card.) Your best bet to get to the training areas once you have your access card is via SR 507, as noted in the ABA guide.

* Because of budget cuts, you can’t get an Area Access card (which, like Nathanael states is good for 2 years) on the weekend. You need to get it sometime Mon-Fri.

* Currently, access isn’t legal on the training areas on Sunday or most (all?) holidays. Again, budget cuts are the primary problem.

* Definitely check on the website to see what’s open before you go, and call in to let Range Control know where and about what time you’ll be at a site.

* TA 15, on the east side of 8th Ave S, is OK to go to when open. (This site was closed due to endangered species management when the ABA guide was revised.) In the Spring, this area along Muck Creek could be where you might find orioles or even Yellow-breasted Chats – the habitat is likely for those, but I’ve not found them there as yet.

Once you have your area access card, and if you need further guidance or want company, drop me a note. If I’m available, I’ll let you know: I’m in Roy most of the week.

May all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis

Roy, WA

avnacrs4birds at outlook dot com

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Tom Mansfield
Sent: Friday, January 1, 2016 7:10 AM
To: Nathanael Swecker <nathanael.swecker at gmail.com>; tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Birding JBLM 2015

Bravo Nathanael – what a contribution you’ve made to WA birding by your time/effort in the field at JBLM. And in the process, unscrambled what has seemed daunting: obtaining legal access.

Your website is easy to understand and extremely helpful. The maps and open range link are super and unique. After enjoying a base field trip or two with Denis de Silvis via WOS, I’ve made it through the daily permit process with ease but the next step of getting a longer term Range Pass seemed so daunting from the JBLM website with conflicting directions, phone numbers that weren’t answered, unhelpful information if you reached someone, etc. I was able to see the Acorn Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch (and a pair of unexpected Northern Bobwhite) using the daily permit but they were on the base’s southeastern periphery and I think some birders may have just driven in without even getting a daily permit because the birds’ location was so close to a public road. But I really have wanted to explore the other areas and felt “criminal” driving around with my daily permit since I didn’t have site-specific information (which is not available at the daily permit office) as to what areas were open and closed. As far as I know, area maps of JBLM are like hen’s teeth...

I can’t wait to follow the step by step process and put your hard work and experience to good use. Happy New Year, thanks, and cheers, Tom Mansfield.

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu <mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu> [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Nathanael Swecker
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 11:45 AM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu <mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Birding JBLM 2015

This past year I have dedicated my birding time to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Birding the base provided me with a multitude of challenges, but even more rewards. Navigating the complex military training grounds was no easy task. Let's face it, most people avoid the area because they would rather not have to deal with military police and troop movements. But after a lot of time, research and exploration I have found that the JBLM training areas are full of dynamic bird life and unique habitats. On top of the great birding, I have found that gaining access to the training areas is easy, painless, and available to almost all the public as long as you follow the basic rules.

I have decided to launch a small website that is dedicated to birding JBLM.

www.jblmbirding.com <http://www.jblmbirding.com>

Come visit the site and learn more. It includes:

1. An introduction and explanation of who I am and what I have been doing this year.

2. How to gain access to the training areas.

3. How to follow the rules.

4. Maps of most of the training areas.

The website is pretty basic right now. I have only just started to learn web-development on my own. Expect more to come as my developer skills increase. Also note that I am not a representative of JBLM. I am not military myself. I am not associated with the base in any formal capacity. I am just a bird hobbyist.

Now I hope I can encourage all of the Washington birding community to come out and bird JBLM along side of me. There are so many more birds to find and more areas to explore on the base. I can't get out there every day, and I know there are so many more birds I have yet to record.

My final bird tally for JBLM 2015 came to 180 species. Will all of you help me add more to this list?

Nathanael Swecker

JBLM Birder

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