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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 - Final

Mountain Chickadee - Image courtesy of Peter Wallack
Mountain Chickadee - Image courtesy of Peter Wallack

By Russ Koppendrayer

We wrapped up an exciting year of birding by adding three species to our year list in the last two months. White-winged Scoter, Wild Turkey, and Mountain Chickadee are all code 4 species, meaning there are at least five previous records in Cowlitz County, but they appear less than annually. This brought our year total to 206, bested only by our 2015 record of 207. 

Cassin's Auklet and Lark Sparrow were species seen in the county for the first time and documented on eBird. This brings the number of species documented in Cowlitz to 280. In addition eight code 5 (1-4 previous records) species were recorded, with the most exciting being the Eastern Kingbird pair that were also documented fledging two chicks.

Our big miss was Western Sandpiper which went unrecorded in spite of being an annual visitor.

Download the pdf here.

2020 Cowlitz County Bird List - January Update

Redheads - Image courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer
Redheads - Image courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer

By Russ Koppendrayer

As usual we got the year off to a fast start with the Christmas Bird Count on New Year's Day. No real rarities were found  in January, but we did find three less than annual species that we missed in 2019.

Two male Redheads were at the former Longview Sewage Ponds. Three California Quail were reported from the Woodland Bottoms. This species was formerly more common there, but habitat fragmentation and spring floods in their nesting area have combined to drive their numbers to nearly nothing and making sightings quite rare. Also a Pacific Loon was in the Columbia River near the Kalama Marina. Here's to a fine year of birding in 2020 for all of you.

Download the pdf here.

Redheads - Image courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer
Pacific Loon - Image courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer

 

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - October Update

Ferruginous Hawk - Image courtesy of Terry Anderson
Ferruginous Hawk - Image courtesy of Terry Anderson

By Russ Koppendrayer

During the last couple months Cowlitz County was graced with the presence of some species rarely seen here.

The county's third record of Red-necked Phalarope was found at the former Longview Sewage Ponds and remained for at least four days. Our second record of Heermann's Gull was on a sandbar near the mouth of the Kalama River, but flew off shortly after being photographed by the initial observer.

While each of these was a fun find, the star of the period was a Ferruginous Hawk that was regularly seen by numerous people in the Woodland Bottoms during its stay of over two weeks. Not only was this the first ever record of Ferruginous Hawk in Cowlitz County, but this denizen of remote spots of the arid west during summer has only made a handful of appearances in western Washington. Most of those were just fly overs such that this bird was only the second to be photographed in the wetter side of the state.

Download the pdf here.

 

Ferruginous Hawk - Image courtesy of Terry Anderson
Ferruginous Hawk - Image courtesy of Terry Anderson

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - August Update

Eastern Kingbird babies waiting to be fed - Image (digiscoped) courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer
Eastern Kingbird babies waiting to be fed - Image (digiscoped) courtesy of Russ Koppendrayer

By Russ Koppendrayer

In the last two months we have only added three species to our Cowlitz list. Semipalmated and Baird's Sandpipers were both seen in August as is frequently the case. For whatever reason these two species fit with some other shorebird species that migrate north through the middle of the continent in spring, but a few are found going through Washington in the fall. Also found was a Yellow-headed Blackbird which are not seen every year in the county, but seem to pop up at any time of year when they do appear.
 
Our big thrill for the time period was confirming breeding of the Eastern Kingbird pair first found at the Toutle Sediment Retention Dam on June 18. Further monitoring of these birds led us to suspect nesting, but this was confirmed on August 2 when two recently fledged chicks were observed being fed by two adults. This third ever record of Eastern Kingbird in Cowlitz County resulted in the first ever record of breeding here.

Download the pdf here.

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - May Update

Dusky Flycatcher - Image courtesy of Mxmerce
Dusky Flycatcher - Image courtesy of Mxmerce

By Russ Koppendrayer

A couple species more typically found in eastern Washington were observed in Cowlitz County during this May.

The first was the third county record of Dusky Flycatcher, a species that may occur here occasionally in spring migration, but very difficult to distinguish from the much more prevalent Hammond's Flycatcher.

The second was the first ever county record of Lark Sparrow. This species prefers to nest on arid grassland or sagebrush with rocky soil in eastern Washington. Lark Sparrow seems to make an appearance somewhere in western Washington with a bit of regularity at random locations. With this record in Cowlitz County, only Wahkiakum and Mason counties have never hosted this handsome bird.

Download the pdf here.

Subcategories

Upcoming Events

Apr 16-21, 2020
Olympic BirdFest
Apr 24-26, 2020
Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival
May 08-10, 2020
Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest
May 14-17, 2020
Leavenworth Spring Birdfest
May 16, 2020
Earthday at the Cowlitz Fairgrounds
May 22-25, 2020
Wenas Audubon Campout
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