WHAS - Bird Lists and Wildlife Sightings

2019 Cowlitz County Bird List - June Update

Cassins Auklet - Image courtesy of Duncan Wright
Cassins Auklet - Image courtesy of Duncan Wright

By Russ Koppendrayer

We had a couple very impressive finds in Cowlitz County during June. First was a pair of Eastern Kingbirds found at the Toutle River Sediment Retention Dam. Just the third record of this species in the county, they were observed building a nest. Later in the month only one individual was being seen. Whether the nesting attempt was aborted or a hidden nest was in use is not known at this time.

The second great find was a Cassin's Auklet in the Columbia River just downstream from Kalama. Not only was this the first ever record of this species in Cowlitz County, but I couldn't find any other record for this sea going alcid in fresh water anywhere in Washington prior to this find. It was observed swimming for about ten minutes including a couple of dives before it flew off and was not relocated. An unusual occurrence indeed.

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