Bird Counts

2018 Cowlitz County Bird List - January Update

Common Redpoll - Russ Koppendrayer
Common Redpoll - Russ Koppendrayer

As usual our composite year list for Cowlitz County got off to a big start on January 1st with the Christmas Bird Count in the Longview/Kelso area.

Then on the 2nd the first ever Cowlitz record of Common Redpolls were found in Longview's Altrusa Park. And not just a single bird, but a nice flock of sixteen mixed with four American Goldfinch. This tiny finch of the north is not found in western Washington annually, but this has been a banner winter for them. Typically when they are found it is one or two individuals in a flock of Pine Siskins, but this year pure flocks of Common Redpolls have been found in numerous places as far south as Olympia. Even farther south there was a flock near Morton for a first Lewis County record and another group seen on Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge in Wahkiakum County.

This phenomenon could well continue through the winter until they return north in late February. They especially like the catkins of alders and birches and may even show up at a seed feeder so be on the lookout in your neighborhood.

Russ shot the image with his phone held up to the scope eyepiece (digiscoped).

Download the pdf here.