WHAS - Bird Lists and Wildlife Sightings

2021 Cowlitz County Bird List - October Update

Surf Scoter - Image courtesy of John and Margret Green
Surf Scoter - Image courtesy of John and Margret Green

By Russ Koppendrayer

We've managed to add five species since the last update at the end of August. A Semipalmated Plover was actually seen in mid August, but not on the eBird accepted list until September. The rarest find was the county's fourth record of Broad-winged Hawk seen by a hawk watcher in the Woodland Bottoms where all previous records also occurred during fall migration. All these records have occurred in three of the last four years, which would seem to imply that they may have been passing through in small numbers for years since this hawk watch has only been happening for four years. The ridge just east of I-5 just north of Woodland may just be one of the primary migration corridors in western Washington for hawks and especially Turkey Vultures. 

Also of interest was the number of reports of Surf Scoter in October. While we expect to see small numbers in the Columbia River as they migrate through in October through early November we had a group of six at Willow Grove and a number of reports from the Woodland Bottoms area. Three were even in the ponds of the former Longview sewage treatment facility, which is not an annual place for them. Furthermore all these birds were either females or juvenile males with no adult males present. Who knows what is driving this phenomenon. 

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