We were in Benton Co yesterday (3/18) looking to boost our list there, thinking we would find, among other species, the Trumpeter Swans that has been posted on eBird at the Steptoe Pond off 240 (a couple miles west of Bateman Island.) We were so disappointed not to find them it, as they had been posted at the “more obscure” pond between the RR tracks and 240 only 24 hrs. earlier! We thoroughly searched both ponds, but no dice. (Incidentally, the roads on either side of Bateman Is. are completely torn up and we couldn’t figure out if there was any way to get there by car.) Feeling defeated, we headed for Leslie Groves Park in Richland--a “continuing” TRSW had been posted there almost 2 wks earlier, but nothing since. Luckily the lone, first-winter Trumpeter was in the middle of the river, spotted from one of the brambly trails down to the water’s edge near the Newcomer entry.
We then headed out to Snively Rd to look for the mockingbird that was there a while ago—nope. But en route by way of Twin Bridges Rd. off 240 from Richland, we noted a pond on the right, across from a mobile home/RV type park, with maybe 30 Tundra Swans, along with a few other waterfowl species. There was even a pullout for parking. A bit further down the road were at least 500 Sandhill Cranes, and hundreds more when we turned onto Snively. More construction--a bridge on Snively is out, so you have to come at it from Twin Bridges and can no longer continue out to 240.
Feeling swan-rewarded, we headed home over hard rain on Snoqualmie.
Penny Koyama, Bothell