Outdoors blog

TUESDAY, AUG. 30, 2011, 1:09 P.M.

Banks Lake drawdown attracts shorebird watchers

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The drawdown of Banks Lake for spillway construction that will last into next year is a pain for boaters (see post below), but it's considered an opportunity for birdwatchers. 

The drawdown is exposing muddy banks that are attracting shorebirds.

Although better viewing is expected as the heatwave deteriorates, here's a Banks Lake birding report from a recent outing by Doug Schonewald of Moses Lake:

There were a plethora of shorebirds at the marina at Coulee City, mostly Westerns, Least, and a few Bairds. There is so much lakeshore exposed that it is hard to decide where to look for shorebirds, especially since the water has not been drawn down to this level in nearly 20-years. It should only get better in the next few weeks.

Steamboat Rock had a few migrants. MacGillivrays, Wilson, Chipping Sparrows, the like. Nothing rare, but enough to keep up interest.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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