FOOB Nature Walk: 4th May, 2024

Scanning the main pond for bird life from the Springwater Corridor

It was a rainy Saturday morning, but we still had nine hardy attendees! Joshua Meyers and John Sparks led the group around Oaks Bottom, noting spring blooms and an abundance of bird life, 51 species tallied in the three hours we were out.

Cinnamon teal drake (Anas cyanoptera)

For birds, the stretch along the Springwater Corridor was especially productive with literally hundreds of swallows of at least four species swooping over Wapato Pond. In addition, we observed purple martins hunched at the top of a dead tree and a scream of Vaux’s swifts fluttering overhead. Other sightings from the Springwater included a cinnamon teal, a flight of northern shovelers, and a raccoon grooming itself in the crotch of a tree!

Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata)

Along the Bluff Trail, perching birds were more in evidence, including a western wood-pewee, a western flycatcher, a pine siskin, black-throated gray warblers, and a couple of black-headed grosbeaks. Yellow-rumped warblers were busy foraging in the overhead boughs, and a gaggle of Canada geese with 29(!) goslings were gathered close to the trail. Unfortunately, the latter got the attention of an off-leash dog, which chased them all into the water – a rather obvious example of why pets must be leashed in the wildlife refuge.

Common camas (Camassia quamash)

With all the rain, the refuge has been greening out considerably, and camas (both species) and checkermallow are blooming in the South Meadow. Clustered roses are starting to flower, and shrubs such as Pacific ninebark, hawthorn, and red osier dogwood are also in bloom.

Friends of Oaks Bottom plans to conduct these nature walks four times a year (once every season). If you’re on our email list, you’ll get a notification to sign up!

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