Date: 10/8/18 11:07 am From: Jay Withgott <withgott...> Subject: [obol] Re: Multnomah Co. Ruff
Everyone, please note the location pin for the eBird checklist with the photographed Ruff at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland was not at Force Lake per se, but was at a small pond within the golf course that is to the left of the road (and mostly visible from the road) just before you reach the main parking lot for the course & clubhouse. That said, the mud shown in the photos does look more like Force Lake. As one of the county eBird reviewers, I have contacted the observer to get confirmation on the exact location, but for birders seeking the Ruff it might be worthwhile to check both locations.
At any rate, it’s clear from the frequent comings and going of the Red Phalarope and other shorebirds at Force Lake in recent days that these birds move around a lot. Some of us have checked out other ponds on the golf course but have found them mostly devoid of mud and shorebirds. And one needs to be discreet and stay out of the golfers’ way. The Columbia Slough has been showing mud but can be time-consuming to access and check in any satisfactory manner. Vanport, alas, is bone-dry, as is Smith Lake and most of Bybee Lake. One place I would recommend is the wastewater treatment ponds that are immediately SW of the golf course, and can be accessed via the Columbia Slough Trail off of Portland Blvd. The parking is horrible and may not strictly be legal, the traffic is dangerous (please be careful!), and the place is positively skanky, but there have been shorebirds there this week, including dozens of peeps and 10 or more Pectorals. Men and trucks and equipment are actively workin g at the site now, resculpting the wastewater lagoons, so it is busy and kind of a mess. One cannot see the back pond from the slough trail, and I don’t know if anyone's asked the workers for permission to walk in and look at it, but I wouldn’t be optimistic. That all said, my own attempts to find the Phalarope in other locations failed, so an extended campout at Force Lake might realistically be one’s best bet to find the Ruff or any other good shorebird that may show up in the area.
Congratulations to Chris Armstrong for finding the Ruff, and thanks to Isaac Denzer for identifying it from photos and bringing it to our attention.