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Bird Counts

June 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Russ Koppendrayer take on June:

In the last few years with the growing breeding colony of American White Pelicans on Miller Sands Island in the Columbia estuary coupled with the frequent sightings in the Ridgefield and Sauvie Island areas and into some Portland/Vancouver sites, I assumed these were some of the same individuals. It seemed they needed to be passing through along the Columbia here in Cowlitz County as they traveled between locales, but we had only a couple of reports. That changed this year in an interesting way. We've had a number of reports and over half of them are of someone checking out a soaring raptor and noticing a flock of pelicans high above the raptor. When they pass through they are soaring at altitudes where they are not noticed with the naked eye. Keep your eyes skyward in locations near the river for a chance to see this impressive species.

Download the pdf file here.

April 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Sage Thrasher Courtesy of the USFWS

In April many of the neotropical migrants were making their return earlier than normal by as much as two weeks. This was most likely due to the lack of any weather systems that would ground the birds on their trip between here and their wintering areas. The most unusual appearance was made by a Sage Thrasher which apparently took a wrong turn on it's way to the shrub-steppe habitats of eastern Washington. The bird put in a one day showing at the Longview Mint Farm where it was seen by at least seven birders. This species seems to be found in one or two western Washington locales each spring, but this was the first ever record for Cowlitz County.

 

Download the pdf file here.

May 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Image courtesy of WAFWS

There are only a handful of records of Swainson's Hawk for Cowlitz County and we can go years between sightings. In early May there was an adult of this species at the south end of the Woodland Bottoms and amazingly a yearling at the same spot in late May.

Possibly more interesting than the rare bird sightings this spring has been the nesting Great Egrets along Kuhnis Road in the Woodland Bottoms. The only previous western Washington nesting records for this species are from the Port of Kalama for a number of years, but not 2014 or 2015. The Great Egrets join the already nesting Great Blue Herons about a month later and build nests above and alongside just as the trees begin to leaf out, making observation a bit difficult. It appears that there are as many as 10 Great Egret nests this year and can best be seen with a scope from a pull out along Dike Road west of Kuhnis Road near the house boats in the Lewis River.

Download the pdf file here.

2014 Cowlitz Columbia CBC Recap

By Bob Reistroffer

23 field observers and eight feeder watchers joined and spent the cool sunny day finding 17,172 birds with 98 species recorded during the 33rd Cowlity Columbia Christmas Bird Count. The temperature ranged from 21° to 41°. Also during count week an additional 7 species were reported.

We had several high counts: 54 Pied-billed Grebes, 430 Northern Shovelers, 225 Buffelheads, 78 Hooded Mergansers, 4 Cooper’s Hawks, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks, 72 Red-tailed Hawks, 22 Bald Eagles, 264 Mourning Doves, 24 Kingfishers, 24 Downy Woodpeckers, 11 Red-breasted Sapsuckers, 23 Common Ravens, 70 Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 22 Red-breasted Nuthatchs, 946 Oregon Dark-eyed Juncos, 175 White-crowned Sparrows, and 510 Golden-crowned Sparrows.

Seen during count week: Green Heron, Rough-legged Hawk, Long-billed Dowitcher, Horned Lark, Pygmy Owl, Saw-whet Owl, and Gray Jay.

Not seen for many years: 1 Hutton’s Vireo, 4 Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Thank you all for a great job. Hope to see you all next year on Friday, Jan 1, 2016.

 

2014 Leadbetter Point Count Recap

By Suzy Whittey ~ Organizer ~ Long Beach, WA

I want to thank the 23 property owners who live around Willapa Bay and other key locations that granted the 42 birders in 8 sectors access to count birds on December 20, 2014 for the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The information gathered in the Christmas Bird Counts that happened all across North America is invaluable to ornithologists who monitor bird populations.

The hardy birders, some who traveled over 100 miles to have the opportunity to count birds in Pacific County braved a wet and windy day with posted high surf advisories that did not allow the Pacific beach to be counted this year. But the stormy weather brought species like Red Phalaropes, Western Sandpipers and Snowy Plovers inland to be seen in puddles along G Street in Surfside and the Beach Barron Field on Sandridge Road. The Bay Center Group saw 7 Snow Geese and 16,000 Dunlin in Willapa Bay. But, their highlight was a rare sighting of a Townsend Solitaire. Other groups documented a Barred Owl, Wilson Snipe, Canvasback Ducks, Eurasian Widgeon, White-winged Scoter, Trumpeter Swans and Spotted Sandpipers just to mention a few.

Even though the number of birds and the number of species were down this year, most of it can be attributed to the stormy weather. Thank you birders for your time and expertise in making the Leadbetter Christmas Bird Count a huge success. I also want to thank the Berry Patch Restaurant in Ocean Park and the Hunters Inn in Naselle for serving us breakfast and dinner.

We had several high counts: 3 American Bitterns, 32 Great Egrets, 221 Buffleheads, 69 Ruddy Duck,s 306 Eurasian Collared-Doves, 24 Belted Kingfishers, 29 Anna’s Hummingbirds, 20 Common Ravens 13 Brown Creepers, 25 Western Meadowlarks.

Seen during count week: 5 Cinnamon Teals, 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Ring-billed Gulls, 1 Horned Larks, 3 Cedar Waxwings.

New to the count this year: 1 Sora, 1 Rusty Blackbird

Thank you to Don Coggswell, Darrel Whipple, Stephen & Irene Bachhuber, Jeff Jendro, Julius & Sue Strid, Rachelle Rogers, Ramona Leber, Russ Koppendrayer, John & Margaret Green, Rachel Perry, Sam Sudar, Denise & James Caldwell, Charlotte Persons, Mary Huels, Becky Kent, and Pat & Bob Reistroffer for a great job.

2014 Great Backyard Bird Count

February 14 - 17

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers
of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the
continent and in Hawaii. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It
takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of
the event. It’s fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Everyone is encouraged to make the
most of the 2014 GBBC. The count is led by the National Audubon Society and the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The GBBC website includes more information at www.birdcount.org ,
along with photos from last year's count, and other materials, including a tally sheet.

Hope to see you all next year on Thursday, Jan 1, 201