Local Current Issues
First Ever Black-throated Sparrow seen in Woodland
- Last Updated: Sunday, 01 June 2014 19:49
May was an exciting month for rare migrants in Cowlitz County. The headliner had to be the county's first ever record of Black-throated Sparrow. The bird was seen and photographed in a Woodland yard on the 20th and seen briefly the next morning before it disappeared. Primarily a species of the arid southwest U.S., there are a few nesting on arid slopes near Vantage in eastern Washington, but to find a migrant west of the Cascades is very rare.
Other birds recorded less than annually included a Swainson's Hawk seen soaring over the Woodland Bottoms for a few minutes on the 4th, before disappearing to the south. A Wilson's Phalarope was seen by a number of people when it spent the 10th in a Woodland Bottoms pond. Starting on the 15th a Yellow-breasted Chat spent at least 6 days singing at Willow Grove, to delight of many.
While not showing on this list, a hybrid Lazuli x Indigo Bunting was found singing on territory near Cougar on the 29th. With only a handful of records in Washington state, this spot has become famous among folks who are into these phenomenon, since this is the 5th consecutive year for this hybrid at this location.
Lastly a migration extravaganza was witnessed on the 5th as 4000 Band-tailed Pigeons streamed north along the Columbia River at Kalama in a half hour.