Monday, September 01, 2008

Latah Co. shorebirds, Viola Sewage Ponds, 8/31/08

Howdy -

I finally found a few species of shorebirds (4 to be exact) in Latah Co. at the Viola Sewage Ponds yesterday afternoon. They were Killdeer (~6), Least Sandpiper (2), Western Sandpiper (1), and Red-necked Phalarope (4). I may have missed a Spotted Sandpiper which I think I heard but didn't see (would have brought my total to 5 shorebird species!).

Also present were ~150 Canada Geese, ~20 Mallards, 2 Green-winged Teal, Barn, Bank, and Rough-winged Swallows (seemed to be a lot of swallows migrating yesterday), a bunch of Cedar Waxwings, Savannah and Chipping Sparrows and the usual blackbirds, starling, doves & pigeons.

The Viola sewage ponds are just west of US 95 off Trestle Rd. a bit south of the small burg of Viola which is about 8 miles north of Moscow. This would be a pretty good location if not for the fact that one has to peer through a chain-linked fence from the weedy, rocked embankment of the ponds. The 2 main ponds are rock lined and the peeps and Killdeer foraged from the rocks w/ the phalaropes of course swimming around in the ponds (I've now found RN Phalaropes over the years at the Viola, Deary, Genesee, and Syringa sewage ponds, and UI Dairy). Least Sandpipers are actually not all that unusual at rock lined sewage ponds despite being the classic "mudpipers".


Charles Swift
Moscow, ID