Date: 3/20/17 9:13 pm From: Randy Hill <re_hill...> Subject: [Tweeters] crane talk and FOYs
They've been talking lately, dancing too. Yesterday a tour around the Woodland Bottoms in Cowlitz County, about 700 Sandhill Cranes in the big pasture between the RR tracks and the Holland America tulip location south of town, viewed from the gravel dike road along the Lewis River. Also had FOY Rough-winged Swallow at the big expulsion pumps on Dike Road at the north end, and two occupied Great Horned Owl nests in cottonwoods along Dike Road.
Today I verified that the north end of Lower River Road along Vancouver Bottoms north of Vancouver Lake is vacated, therefore not accessible to the public without permission north of the gate that has been in place for the last year+. (There is also a visible active Great Horned Owl nest directly east of the gate; scope needed.) So Post Office Lake is not accessible for viewing other than walking the road NE along the north end of the Shillapoo Wildlife Area and viewing from a very long distance. I had specific access from the owner to walk in and look at the flooding into Post Office Lake (bottom end of Ridgefield NWR), where waterfowl numbers were pretty low since there was water everywhere, but did see my FOY Cliff Swallow. On the way was a Say's Phoebe around the buildings before the house at the end before the barricade, and several (FOY) Wood Ducks in the flooded cottonwoods. On the drive out, around 4:50, there were more than 1150 Sandhill Cranes east of the Fazio Sand piles, and another 350 west of LRR in the field south of the turnoff into Frenchman's Bar Park.
More cranes to come, but in Othello. The 20th Sandhill Crane Festival begins Friday afternoon and through the weekend. Many people there that you will recognize by name As many as 8 presentation an hour outside of the crane viewing tours, and with so many pertinent topics some tough decisions about which to attend! Info at https://www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org/