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Bird Counts

Local Christmas Bird Counts Where and When?

Leadbetter Christmas Bird Count:

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Because of the large area, and the fact that we access the west side of Willapa Bay on numerous pieces of private property, Participants will be organized into small groups. If you wish to participate contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wahkiakum Christmas Bird Count:

Monday, December 30th 2019

For more information and/or to sign up contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cowlitz – Columbia Christmas Bird Count:

Wednesday, January 1st  2020

We will be out for an 8 hour period covering a 15 mile diameter circle looking for any birds that will let us see them. Please plan to join us this year. It is a great way to start out the New Year.

To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 360-636-5125 (message). He will form teams. Or you can put together your own team for the area of your choice. (Areas include Eastern Oregon, Western Oregon, Southern Washington, Eastern Washington, Western Washington, and Northern Washington.) Our circle is centered in the Columbia River by the Lewis & Clark bridge thus we cover areas in Oregon and Washington. In Oregon most of the decommissioned Trojan Nuclear Power site is in the circle, the city of Rainier and west to near Alston. In Washington the circle includes Willow Grove, Lexington and the cities of Kelso and Longview.

Bob will get information to all participants by mid-December when teams are set. He has reserved space at Papa Pete’s Pizza, 5614 Ocean Beach Hwy in Longview for the compilation meeting. We have the space from 5-6:30 pm.

Hope to see you  1-1-20!

2019 Cowlitz Columbia CBC Results

 By Bob Reistroffer

On Tuesday, January 1, 2019 the 37th Cowlitz-Columbia Christmas Bird Count (3CBC), the first of the New Year, was conducted. We had 19 field observers and 3 feeder watchers out for the day peering through the fog and finding 89 species of birds. The species count this year was the lowest since 2010. Since 2010 we have had 4 years with over 100 species and the rest in the mid 90’s. Our highest species number was 108 in 2013 and 2016.

The count circle was begun in 1982 with 57 species and 4,545 individual birds found. This year we found 89 species and 14,721 individuals. We recorded some all time individual high counts; 597 Tundra Swans, 394 Ring-necked Ducks, 165 Buffleheads, 664 Rock Doves, 13 Red-breasted Sapsuckers, 200 Western Scrub Jays, 98 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 768 American Robins, and 13 Brown Creepers(tied a high).

Thank you to all our field observers and feeder watchers.

2019 Wahkiakum CBC Results

By Andrew Emlen

We found 109 species (about average for this circle) plus six additional count week species, despite fairly steady rain. The most abundant species in the circle was Greater Scaup with a count of 23,832, followed by Cackling Goose with 12,240. The most unusual species found were a Lesser Goldfinch (a Wahkiakum county and Wahkiakum CBC first) on Puget Island, a Harris's Sparrow on Aldrich Point Road in Brownsmead, and a Lesser Yellowlegs on Jackson-Pentilla Road in Brownsmead (a first for this CBC). New high counts were set for Trumpeter Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Ring-necked Duck (302, previous high 188), Black Phoebe (10, previous high 4), California Scrub-jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, and American Robin (683, previous high 394).

We missed Townsend's Warbler for the first time. A count of 1 Western Grebe was disturbingly low (previous low 23, previous high 245).

The count was hampered somewhat by the government shutdown, as the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge boat could not be used to access the more inaccessible islands (Marsh and Karlson Islands) of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. Nevertheless, most islands were accessed via kayaks.

Thanks again to everyone for volunteering!

2019 Leadbetter Christmas Bird Count Results

By Suzy Whittey

The Leadbetter Christmas Bird Count (and the WHAS) would like to thank the generosity of all of the private property owners and businesses who allowed the birders to access their property to count birds.

A special thanks to Anita’s Café in Ocean Park and the Hunter’s Inn in Naselle for feeding the birders breakfast and dinner respectively.

The Audubon “Leadbetter” Christmas Bird count falls within a fifteen mile circle on a map that includes the peninsula from 185th street north to the tip and around Willapa Bay as far north as Bay Center.  There were 28 hardy birders that volunteered their day to count as many birds as they could within this circle.

The total number of species that were counted on Dec. 15th was 92, down slightly from previous years. The birders had a good day of weather between our coastal storms, but the storms played a role in the low numbers.

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - January Update

Palm Warbler seen at Woodland Bottoms - Image courtesy of Lyn Topinka
Palm Warbler seen at Woodland Bottoms - Image courtesy of Lyn Topinka

As usual we jump started our year with a nice list of species from the Cowlitz/Columbia Christmas Bird Count on New Year's Day.

Our most unusual finds occurred in the Woodland Bottoms, starting with our fifth record of Brant on 1/4/19. This goose spends the winter eating eel grass in Willapa Bay and other coastal areas and rarely ventures this far inland.

Even more exciting was Cowlitz's third record of Palm Warbler found on 1/28/19 and still present at the end of the month. It had been seen by a number of birders. A species that breeds in boggy areas of Canada and very northeast U.S. east of the Rockies spends its winters in the southeast U.S. and the West Indies. A much smaller number winter annually from western California up into coastal Washington with numbers decreasing as you go north.

This winter there has been a much greater influx of this species into Washington as well as some a little farther inland, and our bird is a part of that phenomenon. 

Download the pdf here.