WILDLIFE WATCHING — While it might seem to harbor a different sort of foul to the uninitiated, the Colville Sewage Treatment Plant has been a hot spot for birders looking for passing waterfowl and shorebirds.
But some birders who recently violated the no-driving rule at the plant apparently have made the plant operators reluctant to allow ANY further birdwatching at the site.
“Recently, a group of birders asked to be let in the gate and were told to walk in,” reports Tim Durnell, a serious birder from Rice, Wash. “A short while later they were seen driving inside the gate around the ponds, a huge liability issue with the folks who manage the STP.
“Apparently these birders were probably not from this area because they asked for directions to the mouth of the Colville River. Still, according to the guy in the STP office, because of the actions of a few, the rest of us could lose our privilege of birding inside the gate.”
The Colville STP is a shorebird treasure and it would be a travesty to lose access to this resource, he said.
If birders can regain the confidence of plant officials, he requests that other birders be sure to park outside the gate, walk in and stay near the gate while birding.
By the way, the ponds were showing no mud yet and there were the usual geese, ring-billed gulls, ruddy ducks, and coots, Durnell said Thursday.