Helena Valley Shorebirds
Taking a hint from the most recent Schwitters Freezout shorebird
report, I made a quick mid-morning trip into the Helena Valley. Lake
Helena had a nice pulse of shorebirds after a several day hiatus, but
the variety could not match Freezout. The Helena Valley Reservoir had
some shorebirds but not much variety. However, the water levels are
quite low on this body for this time of year and should provide good
shorebird habitat - especially on the east side - for the next several
months if it stay low.
Species on both bodies were mostly Baird's, semi-palmated sandpipers,
many yellowlegs, and perhaps a few each of 4-5 other species.
- Water levels at the Helena Valley Regulating Res. are low enough to provide good shoreline/mudflat habitat for shorebirds. This morning, areas on either side of the dam and on the east side of the area had species including: both yellowlegs, least, Baird's, and solitary sandpipers, snipe, phalaropes, killdeer, and probably other species I was not able to ID because of distances. The birds were mostly scattered and a canoe or kayak would provide better opportunities for viewing at closeup ranges. Hopefully, the water levels will remain low into the fall because this body of water can provide good shorebird viewing opportunities.