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West Bank Park

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  • Arla Eckert
    Checked West Bank Park out today and hit pay dirt! Solitary Sandpiper, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Barn Swallow then 2 Caspian Terns. Woops on the
    Message 1 of 14 , May 7, 2010
      Checked West Bank Park out today and hit pay dirt! Solitary Sandpiper,
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Barn Swallow then 2 Caspian Terns. Woops on
      the Goldeneye being gone, they are not. Lots of Eared Grebes and a few
      Western Grebes. Found one Solitary Sandpiper at Benton Lake. So nice not to
      have wind and or snow. Arla
    • Arla Eckert
      I took a look at the West Bank Park area here in Great Falls this afternoon. Saw at least 2 American White Pelicans. There may have been a third one but one
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 7, 2010
        I took a look at the West Bank Park area here in Great Falls this afternoon.
        Saw at least 2 American White Pelicans. There may have been a third one but
        one may have moved from the back side of the island to an island in the main
        river but for sure saw 2 at the same time. One Double-crested Cormorant flew
        over. 2 Killdeer on the island and a few coots, lots and lots of Ring-billed
        Gulls, a few mallards, 2 small grebes, and lots of Canada geese. Wonder if
        and when we may get a rare gull. Crows out on the mud bar. Arla Eckert Great
        Falls
      • Arla Eckert
        I took a look on my way back from Giant Springs. I saw swallows, a Common Loon, Red-winged Blackbird, 1 male Audubon s Yellow rump Warbler and 2 Canada geese
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 28 4:44 PM
          I took a look on my way back from Giant Springs. I saw swallows, a Common
          Loon, Red-winged Blackbird, 1 male Audubon's Yellow rump Warbler and 2
          Canada geese families. Way cute little ones. Arla Eckert Great Falls
        • Beth Hill
          If you wonder why I watch this area so closely - I can get there in two minutes walking - so I can get in a full before/after work bird watch. It s as green
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 28, 2013
            If you wonder why I watch this area so closely - I can get there in two minutes walking - so I can get in a full before/after work bird watch.  It's as "green" as you can get.
            Franklin Gulls - numbers are under 1000 consistently now.  
            Killdeer - sometimes there are still LOTS, last night I counted 65 from one spot, 58 were on one mud flat.  No wonder it was noisy.
            Great Blue Heron - not unusual to see at least 5, one is a juvenile.  Sometimes they move and I don't want to count them twice so there may be more that hang around.
            Wood Duck - somehow I seem to have the luck and see them almost daily, up to 14.  I saw 8 this morning before sunrise, yesterday it was 14 but after sunrise.  Sometimes just one female skulking in the brush.
            Cormorants - last night well over 150.  Yesterday morning I watched as 50-60 were lined up on a large dead tree that has beached and is a favorite perch.  They took off one by one - first in line would hop into the water, followed by the next and the next, swim just a little bit then take off.  Such an orderly departure. No pushing or shoving.  They head downstream about sunrise and come back in the evening.  This is in stark contrast to the Canada Goose departures - a couple honks and everyone is up in the air almost simultaneously.
            Beth Hill
            Great Falls

          • Arla Eckert
            Checked out West Bank Park late this afternoon. I keep hoping some of Freezout birds will show up here. We do seem to have one farm yard goose trying to look
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 21, 2013
              Checked out West Bank Park late this afternoon. I keep hoping some of
              Freezout birds will show up here. We do seem to have one farm yard goose
              trying to look like a Greater White-fronted Goose mixed in with the Canada
              Geese. No barring on chest, black tip on bill, a bit to fat in the belly
              area all seem to point that it is not a wild goose. Did see 8 very small
              round headed short necked geese that I think may be Cackling Geese. Still
              have at least 3 Double-crested Cormorants.

              Wow, on the photos that Skye Haas got of the Long-tailed Jaeger at Freezout.
              Well wroth looking at. Way cool! Great job. Arla Eckert Great Falls
            • Beth Hill
              The river is still pretty high with little sand bar. If it is like last year it will remain at this level most of the summer. Even so ..... There was a
              Message 6 of 14 , May 13, 2015
                The river is still pretty high with little sand bar.  If it is like last year it will remain at this level most of the summer.  Even so .....
                There was a little push of migrants early this week with over 100 Eared Grebes, several Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks, a couple of Redheads, and a large group of Avocets (80).  I still have a Common Loon floating about - does he like it here or is it a flight issue?  Don't know.  There is also a lone Ross's Goose wandering around mostly on the east side of the big island.  I see it pretty consistently when I pass by around 6:30 am.  A couple of Common Tern may have returned.  At least I've seen them 3 days in a row.  Can you believe I saw at least 14 species on/around that big sand bar this morning even though is has river running right through the middle of it?  Osprey have taken up residence (we hope) at the platform in Garden Home Park.  I saw some mating take place Tuesday morning.  They could use a little more nesting material, but I think they are a young pair.  I heard my first Yellow Warbler this morning.  
                Beth Hill
                Great Falls
              • Beth Hill
                It was pretty windy both morning and evening yesterday but that didn t stop birds from hanging around. There are still a few straggler Common Goldeneye. This
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 7 8:05 AM
                  It was pretty windy both morning and evening yesterday but that didn't stop birds from hanging around.  There are still a few straggler Common Goldeneye.  This morning there were only 10. They are looking pretty ragged now as are the Buffleheads.  Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail are becoming regulars right now.  The past two evening a male Wood Duck. Lots of nice spring colors. Last night I picked up a Herring Gull that looked like it still had winter plumage. The sun was right so his pink legs were easily seen.  A lone Franklin's Gull was about as well.  Pelicans and Cormorants off and on are almost expected right now.  
                  I can't begin to count how many Canada Geese appear to be sitting on nests.  The big sand bar (mid-river) has to have over 10.  You can actually see their pile of material that makes up the nest in many cases.
                  Beth Hill
                  Great Falls

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