983Toppenish Wildlife Refuge
- Aug 4, 2002Yakkers,
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 
Turkey Vulture 
American Wigeon 
Virginia Rail 
Greater Yellowlegs 
Spotted Sandpiper 
Western Sandpiper 
Willow Flycatcher 
American Pipit 
 only 1, quite a drop from a week ago
 1 soaring over the refuge and one feeding on a rodkilled cat on
 just starting to get it's color back (eclipse plummage drives me
 2 adults and 2 young
 1 adult and 2 young
 1 ea
 1 adult with 4 young
 14 ea.
 1 ea. feeding in the mud with the shorebirds
Total number of species seen: 33
304 E. Woodin Rd.
Sunnyside, WA 98944
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