[EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump


Aaron Maizlish
 

Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.




Maureen Lahiff
 

Is there a plan to let the water back in when the plovers are done nesting?


Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 9:41 AM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.







Noah Arthur
 

Thanks Aaron, that's good to know. It never occurred to me that it might be a Snowy Plover thing. 

The next question is: Will Frank's Dump being dry actually cause population losses for the migrant shorebirds that usually roost there, or will they simply shift their fall stopover to other parts of coast and Bay? If the loss of Frank's Dump won't cause actual bird mortality, then I wouldn't recommend letting the water back in just so that birders can see shorebirds there. Then they would just have to stop the water again next spring for plover nesting season, then let it back in again in the fall, and so on, in a repeating cycle of work projects that are only for birders' benefit. Park Service funds and work-related COVID-19 exposure risks can be better spent elsewhere, on more essential projects that actually benefit wildlife. 

Noah


On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 09:41:20 AM PDT, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:


Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.







Noah Arthur
 

Sorry, that was a little rash. Come to think of it, I would say that the water should be let back in after plover season. If not sooner. The fact that migrant shorebirds in huge numbers used this location and not other areas of the coast and Bay, probable means it’s imlpttant to them. And for what it’s worth, Frank’s Dump was in a way the beating heart of East Bay birding hotspots. We all loved it, and I ran into birding friends while in the field there more than anywhere else. 

Noah



On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 3:38:16 PM PDT, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:


Thanks Aaron, that's good to know. It never occurred to me that it might be a Snowy Plover thing. 

The next question is: Will Frank's Dump being dry actually cause population losses for the migrant shorebirds that usually roost there, or will they simply shift their fall stopover to other parts of coast and Bay? If the loss of Frank's Dump won't cause actual bird mortality, then I wouldn't recommend letting the water back in just so that birders can see shorebirds there. Then they would just have to stop the water again next spring for plover nesting season, then let it back in again in the fall, and so on, in a repeating cycle of work projects that are only for birders' benefit. Park Service funds and work-related COVID-19 exposure risks can be better spent elsewhere, on more essential projects that actually benefit wildlife. 

Noah


On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 09:41:20 AM PDT, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:


Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.










Ben Pearl
 

Hi all,

I can share a little more about the situation at Franks Dump. As you may have seen last year, Franks Dump was allowed to partially dry out once a large amount of Snowy Plovers (SNPL) were observed breeding there during the May Pacific Coast SNPL Breeding Window Survey. In fact, it was one of, if not the most successful breeding site in the Bay Area in 2020, with both high hatching and fledging success.

Unfortunately, in late 2020 somebody vandalized the water control structure that controls water flow from Sulphur Creek into Franks Dump, rendering it inoperable and potentially prone to flooding Franks Dump during higher tide events such as we saw this past week. It took some time to determine who was responsible for the repair of the structure, and by that time SNPL were nesting on the ponds in large numbers again. HARD ordered the new structure to install, but in the meantime elected to block off the structure at my suggestion to ensure nests wouldn’t get flooded out. In a cruel twist, not long after the structure was blocked, all of the SNPL, avocet, and stilt nests on the pond were depredated. Ravens have been consistently observed hunting the pond and are likely the main culprit. They have been a big problem this year for SNPL throughout the Bay and across the Pacific Coast.

I’m not sure when the structure will be installed (in the next few months), but once repaired EBRPD will add water to the pond. Ideally, the pond would be allowed to partially dry on a seasonal basis to support breeding SNPL, but still retain enough water to provide foraging habitat for SNPL and high tide refugia for migrating shorebirds. I think it is definitely possible.

Cheers,

Ben Pearl
Snowy Plover and Least Tern Program Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


On Jul 3, 2021, at 4:18 PM, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:


Sorry, that was a little rash. Come to think of it, I would say that the water should be let back in after plover season. If not sooner. The fact that migrant shorebirds in huge numbers used this location and not other areas of the coast and Bay, probable means it’s imlpttant to them. And for what it’s worth, Frank’s Dump was in a way the beating heart of East Bay birding hotspots. We all loved it, and I ran into birding friends while in the field there more than anywhere else. 

Noah



On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 3:38:16 PM PDT, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:


Thanks Aaron, that's good to know. It never occurred to me that it might be a Snowy Plover thing. 

The next question is: Will Frank's Dump being dry actually cause population losses for the migrant shorebirds that usually roost there, or will they simply shift their fall stopover to other parts of coast and Bay? If the loss of Frank's Dump won't cause actual bird mortality, then I wouldn't recommend letting the water back in just so that birders can see shorebirds there. Then they would just have to stop the water again next spring for plover nesting season, then let it back in again in the fall, and so on, in a repeating cycle of work projects that are only for birders' benefit. Park Service funds and work-related COVID-19 exposure risks can be better spent elsewhere, on more essential projects that actually benefit wildlife. 

Noah


On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 09:41:20 AM PDT, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:


Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.













Noah Arthur
 

Thanks for the info. It is most unfortunate that the structure was vandalized and that the nests failed. But if the nests have all failed, can’t the water be let in again for the rest of the summer/fall, so that the migrant shorebirds can use the area?

This does seem to be effecting shorebirds all over the East Bay: they’re basically just not here. I checked Alameda today and found only six or seven individual shorebirds at Elsie Roemer. Meanwhile, the Hwy. 37 marshes up north are getting thousands of shorebirds, so the migrants we definitely arriving in force. But without the Frank’s Dump roost site available, they are not using any of the East Bay shorelines much at all, it seems. 

Noah



On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 4:46:50 PM PDT, Ben Pearl <bpearl@...> wrote:


Hi all,

I can share a little more about the situation at Franks Dump. As you may have seen last year, Franks Dump was allowed to partially dry out once a large amount of Snowy Plovers (SNPL) were observed breeding there during the May Pacific Coast SNPL Breeding Window Survey. In fact, it was one of, if not the most successful breeding site in the Bay Area in 2020, with both high hatching and fledging success.

Unfortunately, in late 2020 somebody vandalized the water control structure that controls water flow from Sulphur Creek into Franks Dump, rendering it inoperable and potentially prone to flooding Franks Dump during higher tide events such as we saw this past week. It took some time to determine who was responsible for the repair of the structure, and by that time SNPL were nesting on the ponds in large numbers again. HARD ordered the new structure to install, but in the meantime elected to block off the structure at my suggestion to ensure nests wouldn’t get flooded out. In a cruel twist, not long after the structure was blocked, all of the SNPL, avocet, and stilt nests on the pond were depredated. Ravens have been consistently observed hunting the pond and are likely the main culprit. They have been a big problem this year for SNPL throughout the Bay and across the Pacific Coast.

I’m not sure when the structure will be installed (in the next few months), but once repaired EBRPD will add water to the pond. Ideally, the pond would be allowed to partially dry on a seasonal basis to support breeding SNPL, but still retain enough water to provide foraging habitat for SNPL and high tide refugia for migrating shorebirds. I think it is definitely possible.

Cheers,

Ben Pearl
Snowy Plover and Least Tern Program Director
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


On Jul 3, 2021, at 4:18 PM, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:


Sorry, that was a little rash. Come to think of it, I would say that the water should be let back in after plover season. If not sooner. The fact that migrant shorebirds in huge numbers used this location and not other areas of the coast and Bay, probable means it’s imlpttant to them. And for what it’s worth, Frank’s Dump was in a way the beating heart of East Bay birding hotspots. We all loved it, and I ran into birding friends while in the field there more than anywhere else. 

Noah



On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 3:38:16 PM PDT, Noah Arthur via groups.io <semirelicta@...> wrote:


Thanks Aaron, that's good to know. It never occurred to me that it might be a Snowy Plover thing. 

The next question is: Will Frank's Dump being dry actually cause population losses for the migrant shorebirds that usually roost there, or will they simply shift their fall stopover to other parts of coast and Bay? If the loss of Frank's Dump won't cause actual bird mortality, then I wouldn't recommend letting the water back in just so that birders can see shorebirds there. Then they would just have to stop the water again next spring for plover nesting season, then let it back in again in the fall, and so on, in a repeating cycle of work projects that are only for birders' benefit. Park Service funds and work-related COVID-19 exposure risks can be better spent elsewhere, on more essential projects that actually benefit wildlife. 

Noah


On Saturday, July 3, 2021, 09:41:20 AM PDT, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:


Forwarding.  Hopefully this settles the issue. 

From: peter dramer <pmdramer@...>
Date: July 3, 2021 at 8:58:27 AM PDT
To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Discussion] Frank's Dump
Reply-To: EBB-Discussion@groups.io


Frank's Dump is dry due to a request by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) due to a large number of nesting Snowy Plovers.  

The plovers are taking heavy predation from Crows and Ravens.

You may notice human footprints and they are from official banders.  Do not enter the area yourself.