Conservation Easement at Winje's Farm Conservation Easement

January 28, 2010

Sue Thomas of the USFWS, information and recommendation

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 5:22 am

In an email received June 22, 2007, Sue Thomas shared this information and her high recommendation of the Winje Farm for the easement program.

Sue Wrote:

Many thanks to the Winje’s and Jim for allowing us to access the lakes via
their properties. While there I made note of species observed and would
like to pass that information on for your records.

On the Winje’s property I saw up to 40 Morning Doves in the upper field and
I believe there are two prs of Sandhill Crane and one pr of Wilson’s Snipe
nesting on the property. Adjacent to the property, to the north and south,
I noted two prs of Long-billed Curlew acting very territorial. Also
adjacent to the property along the lake shore I consistently counted ~100
American Avocet, and 50-75 Willets. According to my opportunistic
sightings this section on the lake supported the highest count of Avocet
and Willet than any of the lakes in Surprise Valley. Snowy Plover,
Long-billed Curlew, American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt are among the
top species of conservation concern according to the Intermountain West
Shorebird Conservation Plan and that this area appears to support a high
number of breeding plovers and avocets, I would highly recommend the
Winje’s property for the easement program.

I believe Jim’s property or some portion of it is currently under
easement. We counted approximately 45 Snowy Plovers, 160 Willet, 45
American Avocet, 2 Black-necked Stilt, and 6 Wilson’s Phalarope on the lake
bed on/adjacent to Jim’s property in one day. This accounted for the 2nd
highest count day for Snowy Plover throughout the Valley (the other was at
the northern portion of lower lake with 80 adults total). On the man-made
ponds and dugout, we had a great look at an American Bittern along with 2
Northern Shovelers, 5 Mallards, and 5 Blue-winged Teal. We also
encountered two Sandhill Crane nests on the lakebed (in reeds and on one of
the rock piles) that had both been depredated. The work that you have
accomplished on Jim’s property will undoubtedly support many migratory
birds throughout the year and you couldn’t ask for a nicer partner.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to conserving the land and
wildlife in this amazing area.

Cheers,
Sue

Sue Thomas
Regional Shorebird Biologist
USFWS – Migratory Birds and Habitat Programs

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