The county's first ever Acorn Woodpecker visited a Longview feeder for three days in late November.
Also the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website had a photo of Snow Bunting taken in December on their Mount Saint Helen's Wildlife Area. Not a source I've ever checked, but I was alerted to it by a friend in Spokane.
This was our eighth year of this project and the averages are beginning to be meaningful. The 197 species in the county this year is above our 191 average but short of the 2011 record of 203.
Acorn Woodpecker seen Nov 19-21 2014 at a Longview feeder - Image courtesy of Rob Kedenburg
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.
A Resolution to Oppose Fossil Fuel Export Facilities In Washington and Oregon
Willapa Hills Audubon Society Passed by Vote of the Board of Directors, June 11, 2014
Whereas: Fossil Fuel Export facilities are proposed at many NW locations including Whatcom County, Grays Harbor County, Coos Bay, at several locations along the Columbia River, and new proposals appear with increasing frequency; and,
Whereas: The increased burning of fossil fuels will lead to increased levels of greenhouse gas in the global environment, pollution, and dangerous climate change; and,
Whereas: The extraction of most newly exportable fossil fuels is most often environmentally unsound, such as mountain-top removal in search of coal, strip coal mining, the fracking process in search of oil and gas, or of poor quality, such as the tar sands oil of Canada; and,
Whereas: The transport of fossil fuels, particularly by rail, is most often dangerous and/or dirty and disruptive, and requires large scale facilities in wetlands and next to ecologically sensitive waterways; and, Whereas: Conservation of United States' fossil fuel resources is a national security and energy independence issue, worthy of detailed debate; and,
Whereas: Conservation of energy in the US is becoming increasingly important; and,
Whereas: Willapa Hills Audubon already opposes several proposed LNG ports along the lower Columbia River, and the proposed coal export facility at Longview, and oil export at Clatskanie; now, then,
Be it Hereby Resolved: Willapa Hills Audubon opposes all export of fossil fuels from NW American ports, (with the possible exception of derivatives of natural gas, which will be determined on a case by case basis), and that this resolution will stand until changed or amended in future.
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.
May was an exciting month for rare migrants in Cowlitz County. The headliner had to be the county's first ever record of Black-throated Sparrow. The bird was seen and photographed in a Woodland yard on the 20th and seen briefly the next morning before it disappeared. Primarily a species of the arid southwest U.S., there are a few nesting on arid slopes near Vantage in eastern Washington, but to find a migrant west of the Cascades is very rare.
Other birds recorded less than annually included a Swainson's Hawk seen soaring over the Woodland Bottoms for a few minutes on the 4th, before disappearing to the south. A Wilson's Phalarope was seen by a number of people when it spent the 10th in a Woodland Bottoms pond. Starting on the 15th a Yellow-breasted Chat spent at least 6 days singing at Willow Grove, to delight of many.
While not showing on this list, a hybrid Lazuli x Indigo Bunting was found singing on territory near Cougar on the 29th. With only a handful of records in Washington state, this spot has become famous among folks who are into these phenomenon, since this is the 5th consecutive year for this hybrid at this location.
Lastly a migration extravaganza was witnessed on the 5th as 4000 Band-tailed Pigeons streamed north along the Columbia River at Kalama in a half hour.