I was birding in Eastern Washington last Sunday and Monday, (4/20 -4/21)
but did not go to the colony. I have been there in previous years and have
fond memories of the lively coming and going, especially of cormorants. In
these two days I did not see a single Double-crested Cormorant anywhere.
Maybe State Fish & Wildlife Service has more information? I did see three
Great Egrets at the Para Ponds in Othello, so there must be a breeding
colony there somewhere. I did find the White-faced Ibis at County Line
Ponds on Sunday evening.
I also visited the Tricolored Blackbird colony and Hal's statement: "One
could not have asked for a more satisfying experience of this species in
Washington. " describes it perfectly!
On Tue, May 22, 2018 at 10:22 AM, Hal Opperman <hal...> wrote:
> Dennis (and Tweeters),
> JoLynn and I had a similar experience there last week (Thursday May 17).
> We saw no active nests and almost none of the expected species anywhere
> nearby: one Great Egret in flight and two Double-crested Cormorants
> swimming — that was it. We had not been there for years, and the
> depopulation compared to before was a shock.
> One surprise on the way in was a Grasshopper Sparrow, singing from atop a
> low, mostly dead shrub a hundred feet off the road. This was on the north
> (right) side of the road 150 yards, more or less, from the “T” where you
> turn west (right) from the entrance road to head toward the (ex-) rookery.
> The previous afternoon (May 16) we visited the Tricolored Blackbird colony
> on Morgan Lake Road in the Columbia NWR, as described on Tweeters by Jim
> Elder from May 11. One could not have asked for a more satisfying
> experience of this species in Washington.
> Hal Opperman
> > On May 22, 2018, at 9:04 AM, Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson...>
> > Hello tweets,
> > Netta and I visited the north end of the Potholes Reservoir on Sunday,
> and I was shocked to see scarcely any birds at the big nesting colony
> there. I was there last year, and the air was full of Double-crested
> Cormorants flying to and fro, with scattered Great Blue Herons and Great
> Egrets among them. Dozens of nests had birds on them, mostly cormorants but
> the other two species as well. On Sunday we saw a half-dozen birds on nests
> with considerable searching and a single egret the only bird in flight.
> > Does anyone know any more about this? I speculated that a few angry
> fishermen got tired of the cormorants taking “their” fish and raided the
> colony. Of course I have no proof of that, but why the huge decline from
> one year to the next, especially of a bird so successful and persistent as
> the Double-crested Cormorant?
> > I think Black-crowned Night-Herons have virtually disappeared from out
> there. They used to be common at the same colony. I don’t think there have
> been any there in recent years, and we hardly ever see them any more. I
> have spent a lot of time out there since around 1980 and have seen the
> demise of the Columbia Basin (some would argue that it has been
> “reclaimed”), one of the saddest stories in my time in the Pacific
> > Dennis Paulson
> > Seattle_______________________________________________
> > Tweeters mailing list
> > <Tweeters...>
> > http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters >
> Tweeters mailing list
> http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters >
Twin Lakes/Federal Way, WA