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Zimmerman Ponds and Toppenish NWR

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  • rockrat1960
    Went looking for the Sandhill cranes today, and found them where others had, along Marion Drain Road just east of Lateral A (and another group a mile east). I
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25 5:54 PM
      Went looking for the Sandhill cranes today, and found them where others had, along Marion Drain Road just east of Lateral A (and another group a mile east). I ran into Denny Grandstrand, who said he was there just to tick them and go back home and do things. But he kindly took a few minutes to show me how to access the Zimmerman ponds. About 2/3 of my 37 (38 if you count both junco variants, which ebird seems to lump into one) birds were there. This does not include probable ring neck ducks. Couldn't get close enough to be 100% sure they weren't scaups (couldn't see the "white spur"). Denny suggested I might hear a Virginia Rail calling, and I heard something kind of like that a few times, but not well enough to be sure. I played the Cornell version of the call a few times and got no answer, and what I heard was not an exact match. A major problem was the incessant calling of the marsh wrens: made it hard to hear anything else clearly. Spring is definitely in the air for those supposedly secretive birds.

      From there I looped to Old Goldendale, down to Pumphouse and over to lateral C and back. Denny said he'd seen Trumpeters on Old Goldendale this past Saturday. I looked for a long time, and finally convinced myself that I was seeing Trumpeters, and not the all black billed variant of the Tundra. I couldn't quite be sure of the bill curvature near the base or the relative pointyness of the plumage just above the bill, but the bill did look heavier than Tundras I have seen. I actually never saw any yellow on any swan's bill today, except where they smile. I gather even Trumpeters have some yellow "teeth" near the base.

      The trumpeters, the marsh wrens, and the sandhill cranes were all life birds for me. I hadn't seen long billed curlews or redheads in quite some time, either.

      This seems to be a great time to be going down there, what with the cranes and trumpeters there simultaneously.

      Toppenish NWR--Goldendale Rd., Yakima, US-WA
      Mar 25, 2013 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
      Protocol: Traveling
      25.0 mile(s)
      37 species

      Canada Goose X
      Trumpeter Swan 6
      American Wigeon 4
      Mallard 10
      Cinnamon Teal 4
      Northern Shoveler 8
      Northern Pintail X
      Redhead 4
      California Quail 2
      Ring-necked Pheasant 2
      Great Blue Heron 5
      Northern Harrier 20
      Bald Eagle 1
      Red-tailed Hawk 23
      American Coot 80
      Sandhill Crane 8
      Killdeer 2
      Greater Yellowlegs 1
      Long-billed Curlew 2
      Rock Pigeon 9
      Eurasian Collared-Dove 3
      Mourning Dove 2
      Belted Kingfisher 1
      Downy Woodpecker 1
      Northern Flicker 3
      American Kestrel 6
      Black-billed Magpie 27
      American Crow 1
      Tree Swallow 33
      Marsh Wren 40
      American Robin 11
      Yellow-rumped Warbler 27
      Song Sparrow 13
      Dark-eyed Junco 11 Including 4 slate colored, the rest oregon
      Red-winged Blackbird 35
      Western Meadowlark 1
      Brewer's Blackbird 85

      Cheers, Tuck Russell
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