Hwy 97 Ponds Between Kent and Grass Valley

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Grass Valley

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Sherar's Bridge Hwy (Hwy 216)

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Kent-Grass Valley Road (Finnegan Road)

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Twin Lakes Road

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Kopke Lane

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There are several small ponds along Hwy 97 between Kent and Grass Valley that have had the best shore-birding in Sherman County. They are not very reliable in terms of having water, spring or fall but should be checked anyway as most of the good shorebirds reported from this county have come from these ponds. The first one is 2.5 miles north of Kent at Stark Road. There are several more small dry ponds as you go north that, when they have water, can be interesting. Most of the shorebird species that one can hope to find in Sherman County can be found around these ponds, including Solitary Sandpiper. Between Barnett Lane and Rutledge Lane (all between 1 and 2 miles south of Grass Valley) there is a string of 3-4 ponds that have been more reliable. They are often full of water. They are good for a variety of ducks, Yellow-headed Blackbird, shorebirds and, one year, produced 4 Forster’s Terns at the northern most pond by Rutledge Lane. There isn’t much highway shoulder so you have to be careful as you can ‘just’ barely get off the highway for some of these ponds and truck traffic on Hwy 97 is heavy.


Habitat and Birds

Good birds found here in the past include Swainson’s Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Black-billed Magpie, and Horned Lark. Shorebirds might include both yellowlegs, Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, and Pectoral Sandpiper. In the fall, watch for both Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalarope