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[Mendobirds] Willits WWTP Least Bittern - No Luck, but breeding Hoodies

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  • Mike Curry
    Sunday, June 2, 2013 Dear fellow birders, I have been out of town all week, so, thinking better late than never , I went out this morning to the Willits WW
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 2, 2013
      Sunday, June 2, 2013

      Dear fellow birders,

      I have been out of town all week, so, thinking "better late than never", I went out this morning to the Willits WW Treatment Plant to search for the Least Bittern. No Luck. I drove around all three ponds, stopping every couple of hundred feet. At each stop, I played a recording of a Least Bitter "cooing" call and listened for a couple minutes.

      On another note, among the usual suspects, I did see several Virginia Rails and a female Hooded Merganser leading a pair of young birds around. This seems pretty far south for breeding Hooded Merganser. I did not see the Common Gallinule (moorhen).

      If anyone wishes to search for the bittern, gallinule, or mergansers with me over the next couple of mornings, give me a call at 707 456 1032 (home) or 914 214 8623 (cell) and I will try to get you past the "guards".

      Good birding!
      Mike Curry

      To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
      CC: kslauson@...
      From: kslauson@...
      Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 15:20:21 +0000
      Subject: [Mendobirds] Willits WWTP Least Bittern


      On the rainy morning of the 27th of May I heard a 'singing' Least bittern at the Willits
      wastewater treatment plant. The bird 'sang' 5 times over the 45 minutes, from ~11-11:45
      am, that I listened and looked for it in the middle pond of the 3 new ponds planted with
      bull rush last year. The bird appeared to be in the center to center north end of the pond,
      but was not clearly visible (surprise) when I searched for it. I will return to try and get a
      visual and photos, but that won't be for ~10 days or so.

      Also present was a single Common moorhen and at least 6 Virginia rails which included one
      juvenile-confirming nesting at this site. There were at least 3 singing Grasshopper sparrows
      to the east of the ponds perched along the fence line.

      Note: be sure to check in at the office before heading back to the ponds if you head out there.


      Keith M. Slauson, M.S.
      Research Ecologist
      Rocky Mountain Research Station/
      Pacific Southwest Research Station
      1700 Bayview Drive, Arcata, CA 95521
      Voice: 707-825-2931

      PhD Candidate
      Wildlife Biology Program
      University of Montana
      Missoula, MT 59801

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