Re: Warm Springs WMA
- Hello All,
For those who plan to visit the Warm Springs Area in the near future it should be noted that remediation work on the Clark Fork River north of the area has begun in earnest. As part of an ongoing Superfund Project the DEQ has been removing contaminated soils along Silver Bow Creek which were deposited downstream from Butte during a flood in the early 1900's. This removal and reconstruction has now reached the Warm Springs Area, thus access to some of the ponds will be limited until the project is completed.
As I understand it, work in the area is scheduled only on the weekdays, but this could change.
At present the Warm Springs Crossing Road due east out of Warm Springs, which is the primary access to the ARCO Ponds has heavy truck traffic during the weekdays. This road was quite degraded when I went over it today and unless it is repaired soon I do not recommend using it, even on the weekends. Access to the Eastside Road (and thus the ARCO Ponds) can be reached by the Galen or Perkins Lane Crossings a few miles north of Warm Springs, or by Stuart Lane east out of Opportunity a few miles south of Warm Springs.
Unfortunately, due to the construction traffic, access to the Job Corps Ponds and the Sewage Ponds (northeast of Warm Springs) is probably out of the question on the weekdays, but may be possible on the weekends. Access to the Ducks Unlimited Ponds (west of Warm Springs) should not be a problem.
On a lighter, birdier note: following my visit to the Warm Springs Ponds this morning I went up to Stumptown Road, west of Anaconda, and found my first Fox Sparrow of the year.
--- In MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Swant" <birdmontana1@...> wrote:
> Today I had 12,000 birds in 49 species. New birds to the WMA today were Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Turkey Vulture, Marsh Wren, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
> Nate Kohler told me that he also saw a Long-billed Curlew, but I did not find it later in the day.
> Other highlights were 1,300 Northern Shovelers, 5,000 Canvasback, 1,200 American Coot, 780 Common Goldeneye, 685 American Wigeon and 3 Eurasian Wigeon.
> The four Greater White-fronted Geese are still present at the Racetrack Pond.
> Gary Swant
> Deer Lodge
- I surveyed WS WMA on Thursday April 11 with the following results.
20,000 individuals and 48 species. Highlights were 1000 Snow Geese, 40 Ross's Geese, 2500 American Wigeon, 2600 Norther Shovelers, 4900 Canvasback, 500 Common Goldeneye, 5300 American Coots, all 3 mergansers including 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, and 19 Sandhill Cranes.
The 5 White-fronted Geese were still at the Racetrack Pond on the Island.
- I took a group of birders from Missoula's Audubon Club around the WS WMA today. New birds of the year for me were Long-billed Curlew, Western Grebe, and 1 beautiful male Yellow-rumped Warbler.
I also took a few pictures of white geese. I placed one photo in my album that shows both Snow and Ross's Geese for comparison.
- I was delighted to be part of the Last Chance Audubon field trip to Warm Springs WMA yesterday - Mother's Day. Although I've been a member for over 20 years, this was my first visit, and it was a great experience. Andrea Stierle was our very knowledgeable guide - Thank you, Andrea! Counting Andrea and myself, we had 6 people in our group.
Besides this list of 65 bird species, we also saw a fox at close range.
1. Canada Goose
2. Trumpeter Swan
3. Wood Duck
5. American Wigeon
7. Cinnamon Teal
8. Northern Shoveler
9. Northern Pintail
12. Ring-necked Duck
13. Lesser Scaup
15. Barrowâs Goldeneye
16. Ruddy Duck
17. Common Loon
18. Red-necked Grebe
19. Double-crested Cormorant
20. Great Blue Heron
21. White-faced Ibis
23. Bald Eagle
24. Northern Harrier
25. Swainsonâs Hawk
26. Red-tailed Hawk
27. American Kestrel
29. American Coot
30. Sandhill Crane
32. American Avocet
34. Marbled Godwit
35. Common Snipe
36. Ring-billed Gull
37. California Gull
38. Rock Pigeon
39. Eurasian Collared-Dove
40. Great Horned Owl
41. Belted Kingfisher
42. Northern Flicker
43. Black-billed Magpie
44. American Crow
45. Common Raven
46. Tree Swallow
47. Violet-green Swallow
48. Barn Swallow
49. Black-capped Chickadee
50. Mountain Chickadee
51. Marsh Wren
52. Mountain Bluebird
53. American Robin
54. European Starling
55. Clay-colored Sparrow
56. Savannah Sparrow
57. Song Sparrow
58. Western Tanager
59. Red-winged Blackbird
60. Western Meadowlark
61. Yellow-headed Blackbird
62. Brewerâs Blackbird
63. House Finch
64. Pine Siskin
65. House Sparrow
- A little wet today, but no wind and warm.
I observed 72 species and just short of 3,000 individual birds.
The highlight today were 1 Great Egret in ARCO Pond 1. It was with the nesting Double-crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. This is the 3rd time I have seen one at Warm Springs.
I also found the nest of the Black-crowned Night-Herons. There were two adults and a single juvenile at the nest. The nest is in ARCO East Pond. I think that this is the only breeding pair of Night-Herons west of the continental divide.
The Bald Eagle nest that I thought was unsuccessful this year had a single juvenile sitting on the edge of the nest. I missed that offspring all spring!
Spring staging is in full swing at WS WMA with 42 species and 12,200 individuals. There were 20 species of waterfowl with the following highlights.
220 Snow Goose, 4 Ross's Goose, 108 Tundra Swan, 3,000 American Wigeon, 2 - Eurasian Wigeon, 6,000 Northern Pintail, 2,600 Canvasback, 2,000 Common Goldeneye. In addition I saw 1 Peregrine Falcon looking for a meal at ARCO Pond 3.
Total species seen at WS WMA for 2014 now stands at 56.
Nearly all of the ice is gone at WS WMA now. I found 17 species of waterfowl today including about 450 Northern Pintail, 2,500 Mallards, and 1,200 Common Goldeneye. There were a few Redhead, Canvasback, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup and Barrow's Goldeneye. I did find 2 Greater Scaup as well. There were also about 50 Tundra and three Trumpeter Swans.
A pair of Great Horned Owls are preparing a nest, but the Bald Eagles have not started to build a nest to replace the one that fell out of the tree last summer. Adult Bald Eagles were in the area, so we shall see if they rebuild or move on.
Warm Springs WMA Report – March 12, 2015
This is the first count for the 2015 season. There were 41 species found today, and the year to date total species is 47. Total individuals counted were 14,600. There were 17 species of waterfowl.
Temperatures ranged from 41 to 52 F, partly cloudy, and calm winds. Most of the ice is off the ponds with 20 to 30% remaining. That will be gone by next week.
Birds of interest were 2 Great Horned Owl on the nest, and one Bald Eagle pair on the nest. The Bald Eagle nest was lost in a wind storm last year and was replaced by another nest this year about 300 yards east of the original nest in another Cottonwood tree. This second nest is only about 200 yards off Eastside Road.
I found 2 Eurasian Wigeon and 1,300 American Wigeon. High count species today were 8,600 Northern Pintails, 1,300 Mallards, and 1,250 Common Goldeneye.
My Snow Goose count was a little lower than Freezeout (30,000 yesterday) with only 2. I also counted 385 Tundra Swan and 4 Trumpeter Swans.
Very few American Coots as of yet, with only 46. Gulls are still in small numbers as well with 6 Ring-billed and 18 California Gulls.
37 species, and 3,240 individuals. This made up 22% of the total birds.
5 species, and 45 individuals. This made up <1% of the total birds.
Job Corps Ponds
11 species, and 5,390 individuals. This made up 37% of the total birds.
Ducks Unlimited Ponds
10 species, and 5,881 individuals. This made up 40% of the total birds.
Steve Wickliffe and I visited the Warm Springs WMA for a few hours this morning. It was cool and windy with a touch of snow from the previous night. We recorded 58 species in the area. A few birds of note:
Common Loon – one adult on ARCO Pond 3
Red-necked Grebe – a few pairs on the ARCO and Job Corps Ponds
Black-crowned Night-Heron – two birds at the south end of ARCO Pond 3
Osprey – one pair at the ARCO Ponds and another pair at the Racetrack Pond
Greater Yellowlegs – four birds at the Job Corps Ponds
Peregrine Falcon – one adult at the Ducks Unlimited Ponds
Yellow-headed Blackbird – a handful of birds at the ARCO, Job Corps and Ducks Unlimited Ponds