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)


First 2016 Cowlitz County Bird List (January)

Here is what Russ Koppendrayer says of January 2016:

We got off to our usual outstanding start with a record number of species on the January 1st Christmas Bird Count. The highlight of that day was a 1st for the count Black Phoebe. This was also a 3rd record for Cowlitz County. We also found a number of species that are less than annual during the month as well as a few species earlier in the year to get the big start on the year list. Please continue to report your finds on Tweeters, eBird or directly to me as we try to best 2015's banner year.

Download the pdf file here.

Final 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Rusty Blackbird - Image courtesy of the US FWS

The Cowlitz County Bird List is maintained by Russ Koppendrayer.

Thank you Russ!

Here is his review of 2015:

What a finish to a record breaking year! We finished with 207 species in 2015 which is four more than our previous high.

Capping the final months was a Yellow-throated Warbler that spent two weeks at Lake Sacajawea Park in Longview and was seen by more than 50 birders and well documented with photographs. As well as a first for Cowlitz, this bird was only the third ever for all of Washington. While searching for the warbler a pair of birders found Cowlitz's first ever Northern Mockingbird a couple blocks from the park. This bird also was also seen by many observers during its twelve day stay.

To end our fantastic stretch the county's third record of Rusty Blackbird was found in the Woodland Bottoms just before sunset on December 31.

Download the pdf file here.

Rare Birdsighting in Western WA: Yellow-throated Warbler

Image courtesy of Nikki Perkins

A Yellow-throated Warbler was found on the Kessler side of Lake Sacajawea in Longview.  It is definitely a county first, a Western Washington first, and only the 3rd recorded sighting in the state, the first two on the east side of the Cascades. 

Yahoo! So it will be recorded in the record books.  (not sure you will be able to find the bird in any of your western bird books, but you can try).
It is these rare sightings that pump the adrenaline once in a while, but it is the constant beauty of all the birds we see that bolsters our spirits.

Happy birding, to all.

August 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Russ Koppendrayer's outlook into the fall:

Fall migration of neotropical species winds down in the first half of September, but we should have some spurts of these birds for a couple of weeks. Shorebird species have about the same time frame, but they can be extremely difficult in Cowlitz during the fall as all the shallow ponds tend to dry up leaving very little appropriate habitat. The former Longview Sewage Treatment Ponds out at the west end of town (Ocean Beach Highway at Coal Creek Rd.) seem to be worth checking however. These have been decommissioned and the edges offer a bit of mud for shorebirds as they dry out in late summer. Be warned that a spotting scope is really needed to thoroughly check this site from the pull-out along Coal Creek Rd and walking along the gated dike.

Download the pdf file here.

October 2015 Cowlitz County Bird List

Russ Koppendrayer's review of early fall:

The last two months has been highlighted by a couple of flycatchers. A Black Phoebe was found in the north end of the Woodland Bottoms in mid-September and has been seen sporadically since. While both our neighboring counties (Clark and Wahkiakum) have had nesting records of this species making its northward expansion, this is only the second record for Cowlitz. It is very possible this bird could over winter at this spot.  
The Tropical Kingbird found at Willow Grove in late October was a much bigger surprise. While a small number of this species head north instead of south each fall in migration, they are typically found only on the outer coast in Washington and British Columbia. Finding one even this far inland is quite unusual and was a first record for Cowlitz. Unfortunately, it didn't stay around for many to see.
Image Tropical Kingbird, source: MDF CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Download the pdf file here.