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983Toppenish Wildlife Refuge

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  • Kerry Turley
    Aug 4, 2002
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      It was a beautiful day at the refuge today. When I arrived there was a
      healthy Black-tailed Buck , with velvet covered forked horns, walking
      through the yard of the refuge. The first place I went was the small pond
      across the bridge and north of the refuge HQ. This pond is drying fast and
      has lots of mud showing, which is attracting some early migrating

      As the water decreases it is also concentrating the birds that depend on it.
      Today it looked like family day at the refuge, with both VIRGINIA RAILS and
      SORAS feeding in the open along with their young who were darting in and out
      of the cattails and tules. Young SPOTTED SANDPIPERS were stealthely stalking
      insects with their heads held low and their tails held high they would spear
      an insect the instant it would take flight, it reminded me of the foraging
      methods of a Little Blue Heron, it was actually quite entertaining.

      Another pleasant surprise was to have an AMERICAN PIPIT in with a flock of
      WESTERN SANDPIPERS, not a common bird for TWR in the summer.

      Birds seen (in taxonomic order):

      Great Blue Heron [1]
      Turkey Vulture [2]
      American Wigeon [3]
      Northern Shoveler
      Northern Harrier
      Red-tailed Hawk
      American Kestrel
      Ring-necked Pheasant
      California Quail
      Virginia Rail [4]
      Sora [5]
      American Coot
      Greater Yellowlegs [6]
      Spotted Sandpiper [7]
      Western Sandpiper [8]
      Rock Dove
      Mourning Dove
      Willow Flycatcher [9]
      Eastern Kingbird
      Black-billed Magpie
      American Crow
      Tree Swallow
      Barn Swallow
      American Robin
      Gray Catbird
      European Starling
      American Pipit [10]
      Song Sparrow
      Red-winged Blackbird
      American Goldfinch
      House Sparrow


      [1] only 1, quite a drop from a week ago
      [2] 1 soaring over the refuge and one feeding on a rodkilled cat on
      Pumphouse Rd.
      [3] just starting to get it's color back (eclipse plummage drives me
      [4] 2 adults and 2 young
      [5] 1 adult and 2 young
      [6] 1 ea
      [7] 1 adult with 4 young
      [8] 14 ea.
      [9] fitz-bew
      [10] 1 ea. feeding in the mud with the shorebirds

      Total number of species seen: 33

      Kerry Turley
      304 E. Woodin Rd.
      Sunnyside, WA 98944
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