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WHAS - Bird Lists and Wildlife Sightings

Please send information about wildlife sightings to our Wildlife Sightings Chair.

To see some recent Washington State bird sightings go to the Tweeters list. To subscribe to Washington State Tweeters or to get more info about Tweeters visit WA Tweeters.

Sandhill Crane (WDFW Image)

 

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - April Update

Male Calliope - Image courtesy of Kai Fleming
Male Calliope - Image courtesy of Kati Fleming

By Russ Koppendrayer

As is typical for April the arrival of migrants started slowly and steadily ramped up as the month progressed, with numerous species making a first appearance in the county during the last week.

This included our third ever record of Calliope Hummingbird on the very last day. This smallest bird species north of Mexico breeds east of the Cascades, but a few are seen briefly in places west of those mountains in late April or early May each year. The male with the striking rose-colored streaked gorget fit this pattern. It made multiple morning visits to a window feeder in Woodland to the delight of the residents, only to not be seen again.

We still have numerous species to make an appearance and migration will continue strong all through May, so get out there and enjoy this annual phenomenon, whether it be in your yard or in the forests and fields.

Download the pdf here.

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 - February Update

Western Bluebird at Woodland Bottoms in February 2019 - Image by Terry Anderson
Western Bluebird at Woodland Bottoms in February 2019 - Image by Terry Anderson

What a month we had in February for weather, as we're just not used to it being that cold for such a prolonged time. The snow in the foothills kept birders out of locations with much elevation, and the cold in the lower flood plain areas didn't get us out in those spots as much as usual either.

Still, we enjoyed the greater than usual abundance of Varied Thrush at low elevation where they were pushed by the snow cover in their more typical haunts. We also had a couple flocks of Western Bluebirds found, one each at the south and north edges of Cowlitz County in mid month, just a bit earlier than usual for this early migrant species. One group was in the Woodland Bottoms and the second along the Cowlitz River right at the Lewis County line.

Could these birds have been easier for us to find as they may sometimes use tree farm clear cuts at slightly higher elevations for migration stops and been pushed lower by the snow cover? Birding is always interesting even in spite of the inclement weather.

Many thanks to Terry Anderson for providing the attached photo of one of the Western Bluebirds seen in the Woodland Bottoms on 2/9/19.

Download the pdf here.

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