By Russ Koppendrayer
May was a fun month for birders in Cowlitz County as the cool and especially rainy weather caused many birds to stop off here during their migration. For a number of species this meant we got to enjoy many more individuals of the species that pass through. The rarest find was a single Dusky Flycatcher which was the 6th record for the county. I noticed it shows as a code 5 species on the list while it should be a code 4. Hopefully we can get that updated for next year's list.
A more interesting occurrence in May was the first ever record of a couple species in that month. Red-necked Grebe is a fairly regularly occurring species in the lower Columbia River from fall through early spring. Typically they are gone by the end of March with a few April records. To have one in full breeding plumage spend a few days in May in the river near Kalama was a nice treat. The second unique May appearance was a Say's Phoebe. An individual or two of this very early migrant headed for arid areas east of the Cascades will put in an appearance in our county most years. Typically this is in very late February or March. By mid April a few of us were saying that we had likely missed them this year, when one showed up in the Woodland Bottoms during May and spent a few days to be enjoyed by numerous birders.
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