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)


2014 Leadbetter Point Count Recap

By Suzy Whittey ~ Organizer ~ Long Beach, WA

I want to thank the 23 property owners who live around Willapa Bay and other key locations that granted the 42 birders in 8 sectors access to count birds on December 20, 2014 for the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The information gathered in the Christmas Bird Counts that happened all across North America is invaluable to ornithologists who monitor bird populations.

The hardy birders, some who traveled over 100 miles to have the opportunity to count birds in Pacific County braved a wet and windy day with posted high surf advisories that did not allow the Pacific beach to be counted this year. But the stormy weather brought species like Red Phalaropes, Western Sandpipers and Snowy Plovers inland to be seen in puddles along G Street in Surfside and the Beach Barron Field on Sandridge Road. The Bay Center Group saw 7 Snow Geese and 16,000 Dunlin in Willapa Bay. But, their highlight was a rare sighting of a Townsend Solitaire. Other groups documented a Barred Owl, Wilson Snipe, Canvasback Ducks, Eurasian Widgeon, White-winged Scoter, Trumpeter Swans and Spotted Sandpipers just to mention a few.

Even though the number of birds and the number of species were down this year, most of it can be attributed to the stormy weather. Thank you birders for your time and expertise in making the Leadbetter Christmas Bird Count a huge success. I also want to thank the Berry Patch Restaurant in Ocean Park and the Hunters Inn in Naselle for serving us breakfast and dinner.

We had several high counts: 3 American Bitterns, 32 Great Egrets, 221 Buffleheads, 69 Ruddy Duck,s 306 Eurasian Collared-Doves, 24 Belted Kingfishers, 29 Anna’s Hummingbirds, 20 Common Ravens 13 Brown Creepers, 25 Western Meadowlarks.

Seen during count week: 5 Cinnamon Teals, 1 Ruffed Grouse, 1 Ring-billed Gulls, 1 Horned Larks, 3 Cedar Waxwings.

New to the count this year: 1 Sora, 1 Rusty Blackbird

Thank you to Don Coggswell, Darrel Whipple, Stephen & Irene Bachhuber, Jeff Jendro, Julius & Sue Strid, Rachelle Rogers, Ramona Leber, Russ Koppendrayer, John & Margaret Green, Rachel Perry, Sam Sudar, Denise & James Caldwell, Charlotte Persons, Mary Huels, Becky Kent, and Pat & Bob Reistroffer for a great job.

2014 Great Backyard Bird Count

February 14 - 17

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers
of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the
continent and in Hawaii. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It
takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of
the event. It’s fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Everyone is encouraged to make the
most of the 2014 GBBC. The count is led by the National Audubon Society and the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The GBBC website includes more information at www.birdcount.org ,
along with photos from last year's count, and other materials, including a tally sheet.

Hope to see you all next year on Thursday, Jan 1, 201

2014 Wahkiakum CBC Results

December 30, 2014, was the Wahkiakum Christmas Bird Count. The count circle straddles the lower Columbia River, including Puget Island, Cathlamet, Skamokawa, and the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and Westport, Nicolai Mountain, Brownsmead, Knappa and the Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The day dawned clear and 28 degrees F, with a light east wind. Twenty-five volunteers found 120 species plus two additional count week species, equaling our highest previous total. The most abundant species in the circle, for the third straight year, was Cackling Goose, with over 16,000 found. This was a new high count for this species.

We had high counts for ten other species, most notably Double-crested Cormorant, European Starling, and Horned Lark. Whites Island is our local breeding area for the endangered (and recently federally listed) “Streaked” Horned Lark, and the count of 45 more than doubled our previous high count. New to the count this year was a Barrow’s Goldeneye found by Mike Passmore on the Wahkiakum ferry trip to Westport. A Redhead was in Net Rack Slough. The Northern Mockingbird that was at 80 North Welcome Slough on Puget Island on last year’s count spent the entire year there and was seen on this one as well.

Other species that have been expanding their range northward, Black Phoebe and Red-shouldered Hawk, continue to remain established here. Seven Trumpeter Swans flew over the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. We missed Virginia Rail for the first time in the Wahkiakum CBC’s seventeen years. The Snowy Egret reported on Sunday was not relocated. Thanks to all volunteers!

Wildlife Sightings

Lake Sacajawea has many of the over-wintering waterfowl now. A Eurasion Wigeon was spotted on 12/2/14 and other waterfowl seen have been Wood Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead and even Hooded Merganser. We also have seen many Double-crested Cormorants as well as Pied-billed Grebes. On 12/01/14 a Bald Eagle swooped down and made off with a Gull(did not catch the species) for breakfast.

All this can be seen in our back yard here in Longview just get out, walk the lake and observe. You may even catch a glimpse of one of our resident River Otters.

Osprey nest near Woodland

Pair of Osprey - Robert VanNatta

Pair of Osprey - Robert VanNatta

There is an active Osprey nest west of Woodland next to the Columbia River in a public access area. Robert VanNatta was able to park beside where he set up the camera outside the dike. He got quite a show that morning as an eagle came by just after these photos were taken, and the Osprey went after the eagle and chased it off.

2014 Cowlitz County Bird List (January Update)

Another year with a nice start, mostly due to a fine Christmas Bird Count on New Years Day. The headliner was the second ever record of Rusty Blackbird for Cowlitz County found on 52nd Ave in west Longview. A Sora found the same day on Washburn Road was very unusual for winter. Keep those reports coming.

You find our bird lists here.


Upcoming Events

Aug 08, 2020
WHAS Annual Picnic
Sep 12-13, 2020
Puget Sound Bird Fest now online
Sep 24-27, 2020
Wings Over Willapa
Oct 24, 2020
WHAS Board Meeting