Date: 4/7/21 7:18 pm
From: Kevin Lucas <vikingcove...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Sometimes everything really is black & white, mostly
I returned to the Sunnyside State Wildlife Recreation Area today on my
continuing quest to see Tricolored Blackbirds reported there recently and
the migrating shorebirds. On the walk in I was passed in the opposite
direction by a tight flock of four Blue-winged Teal -- drakes & hens. (I
presume the hens weren't Cinnamon Teal.) Once at the rice paddies south of
Giffin Lake, I tried hard to look at all the blackbirds to find an odd one,
but was hugely distracted. On my visit last Friday I'd stood in one spot in
awe as I counted 145 Black-necked Stilts. Many more were in adjacent
paddies and hidden behind cattail clumps. Today I counted 264. It was truly
amazing. I saw the same number of Dunlin as before, forty-two, with again a
Least Sandpiper and a Western Sandpiper. Three Greater Yellowlegs, many
Killdeer, and a vocalizing Long-billed Dowitcher rounded out today's sure
bird shorebird sights. I'd seen the dowitcher before, but today was the
first time I heard its call distinctly while I watched it. I was able to
see and photograph its alternate plumage greater coverts' tips - simple
concave dark, not the convex > concave S of Short-billed. Soras also joined
today's chorus.

A couple of Benton County Mosquito Control employees turned out to be crowd
control. Loads of birds flushed, but most of the shorebirds stuck around.

Later I went over to the "Mabton boat launch" flooded fields to see if some
of the stilts or the Blue-winged Teal had gone there, but only saw 10
stilts. A couple of Ring-billed Gulls dropped in then left, as Ma Great
Horned Owl once again watched from her nest above. There's a metal & wood
waterfowl hunting blind that gives a nice vantage, but it's approach is
quite exposed. Bring your own chair.

Please, please -- fill out the day use ticket & carry your stub with you
until you're done for the day, then drop your stub in the box slot. It's
required. For all users. There's a tick box for bird watching. If the
managers see how much it's being used for bird watching, perhaps more
accommodations will be made for us, not just for hunters. I saw a birder
there today who didn't fill out a ticket. That seems a wasted opportunity,
and a chance for ill will toward the bird watching community if he's caught.

I again dipped on Tricolored Blackbirds, but had an excellent day.

Good Birding,

https://www.aba.org/aba-code-of-birding-ethics/

Kevin Lucas
Yakima County, Washington

p.s. These areas are west of Sunnyside Mabton Road, and immediately north
of the Yakima River.

Rice paddies:
https://www.google.com/maps/@46.2418265,-120.0308755,984m/data=!3m1!1e3

Mabton boat launch area:
https://www.google.com/maps/@46.2353735,-120.0105489,552m/data=!3m1!1e3

*Qui tacet consentire videtur*

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