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Bird Counts

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.

 

2018 Cowlitz County Bird List - Final

Dunlin - Image by Charles J Sharp
Dunlin - Image by Charles J Sharp

The Cowlitz County Bird List is maintained by Russ Koppendrayer. Here is his take on 2018:

I believe this was the first time in the history of this project that we added NO new species in the final two month period. Never the less we had a very nice year breaking through the 200 barrier again with 201 species.

Three of those species were seen in the county for the first time ever. They were as follows: A Broad-winged Hawk was seen by an experienced hawk watcher who happened to be counting migrating Turkey Vultures in September at the Woodland Bottoms. A flock of Common Redpolls at a west Longview park in January that were part of a massive irruption of this species in all of Washington during the  winter of '17-'18. Also a Dickcissel made a stop at a bird bath north of Kelso in early June and was photographed by the owner.

The only species that was a big miss was Dunlin, a shorebird that can over winter here in small numbers, and if we miss them then we find them in spring migration. Not this year for whatever reason. On to a new year of exciting birding in Cowlitz County to see what it has to offer.

Download the pdf here.