Market Lake WMA Cleanup, Oct. 11, 2014

posted Nov 18, 2014, 1:24 PM by Webmaster
Opening Day for duck  season.

We had 7 people: me, Jean, Glen and Melinda, Tim and Wendy, and Ginny (Greg Rice’s sister!).   That was 6 more than I expected.  No one got shot, and it turned out to be a good day.  The weather was lowering but still pretty fair and not windy.  Trash haul was medium amount, and afterward we went over to the west side to check out the new windrow Melinda helped plant two weeks ago.  Ducks were all laying low, but there were many, many coot, several pied bill grebes and one western.  The new shelter belt to be is back past the “back” shelter belt and to the right (south), and runs east-west (perpendicular to the existing belts.  They planted a diversity of trees; I hope it does well.  

From there we walked back along the canal levee that runs behind the east end of the new trees, and curves around to the west to fill the front marsh.  About half way back we stopped at “Greg’s” tree that lies to the south of the existing shelter belts at a bend of the canal.  The tree, appropriately enough, was jumping!  It had several kinglets, a downy woodpecker, 3 redwing blackbirds (along the canal behind), and first 1 and then a whole flock of yellow rumps.  Also just past the tree we found a recently dead sage grouse that was apparently (I’d like to believe) accidentally shot by a blind duck hunter.  Kind of a bummer, but we all got an up close look at a nice looking male greater sage grouse.  Only yesterday I spent an hour in Bernadette’s studio talking with her about the logo she's doing for us, sage grouse, and the differences in appearance between Gunnison and Big sage grouse.  

I should add miscellaneous birds here and there: chipping and song sparrows, a marsh wren, an osprey and 2 harriers, at least 30 Canada geese in one flock, maybe more, and a worried looking pheasant near headquarters.  Glen saw a shrike (he was noncommittal about northern or loggerhead).

The old shelter belts were full of birds too, but we stayed out for fear of lurking hunters.  Instead we adjourned to the truck stop for a late lunch in good company.