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)


2020 Cowlitz County Bird List - Final Update

White-tailed Kite- Image courtesy of Kevin Cole via Wikemedia
White-tailed Kite- Image courtesy of Kevin Cole via Wikimedia

By Russ Koppendrayer

Two species have been added to the list since the last report two months ago. This gives us the most species found in Cowlitz County in one year over the life of this project. The first addition was a Heermann's Gull that was actually seen in mid October, but didn't get through the eBird review in time for the October report. This was the third ever record for the county for this gull that has a strong attachment to salt water. While we have three records, Wahkiakum county just downstream on the Columbia River has only one record and the next county upstream (Clark) has never witnessed this visitor. Heermann's Gull is a handsome mostly gray gull whose favorite foraging technique is to follow Brown Pelicans when they plunge dive on baitfish and take advantage of any fish stirred up or spilled by the pelicans.  

The second addition was a White-tailed Kite that appeared for a couple days at Willow Grove. This species has become quite rare anywhere in Washington in the last twelve years. After being well established in the southwest part of the state, their range has regressed southward with the nearest population now in the Tillamook, Oregon area.

As previously stated there is now a new county highest total for species in a year. These 209 species include the three that were new to the county. We added Gray Flycatcher, Siberian Accentor, and American Redstart to our list in 2020.

We'll see what 2021 has to offer for birding excitement and pleasure, and good birding to all.

Download the pdf here.


Cowlitz-Columbia Christmas Bird Count 2020


Friday, January 1, 2021  Cowlitz -Columbia Christmas Bird Count (3CBC) is the first of the New Year. We will be out for an 8 hour period covering a 15 mile diameter circle looking for any birds that will let us see them.

More details will come later.

To sign up, call Bob Reistroffer 360-751-5595 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This count will be different because of COVID-19. The guidelines are:

  1. NO in-person compilation gatherings.
  2. Social distancing and/or masking are required at all times in the field.
  3. Carpooling may only occur within existing familiar or social “pod” groups.
  4. Activities must comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 guidelines.           


Wahkiakum CBC 2020

The Wahkiakum CBC is still on, December 29, 2020.

There are some national standards for the Christmas Bird Count this year due to Covid-19, which we will follow. Participants should not carpool with people other than their own family group or social pod.

There will be no gathering at the end of the day - participants should submit their data via email. As the Wahkiakum count is generally birding outdoors in a sparsely populated area, the chance of transmitting the virus will be low as long as participants mask up and wash hands for purchasing fuel or food, or are otherwise interacting with others.

Those who wish to participate may contact Andrew Emlen at 360-795-8009.

2020 Cowlitz County Bird List - October Update

Marbled Godwit - Image courtesy of Wikemedia
Marbled Godwit - Image courtesy of Wikimedia

By Russ Koppendrayer

A couple quite rare species for the county were found in the last couple months along with a number of species that are seen more often, but not annually. Add in a couple finds of species seen annually, and we had a banner late fall season. Our total species to date for 2020 ties our best ever annual total, so any additions in the final two months will be our best ever since the beginning of this project.

The second county record of Marbled Godwit was found in a wetland at Kalama during September. Like the previous record it was a one day wonder and gone by the next day. Also a second record for Cowlitz County was a Broad-winged Hawk found by a hawk watcher that was primarily counting Turkey Vultures migrating along a ridge line just east of I-5 near Woodland. This bird soared along the same wind currents as the vultures. The only previous record was two years ago during fall migration at the same place and found by the same observer. A Brown Pelican was seen resting briefly on a Columbia River sandbar for another rare find. There have been a number of prior records, but this species is far from annual this far from salt water in Washington.

Download the pdf here.


2020 Cowlitz County Bird List - August Update

Common Tern - Image courtesy of Badjoby - Wikemedia
Common Tern - Image courtesy of Badjoby - Wikimedia

By Russ Koppendrayer

As usual we only added a few species during July and August, having already welcomed all of our migrant nesters previously. But of the four additions this year there were some nice finds. The rarest for the county was the Common Tern. This second ever record for Cowlitz County was found resting on a small sandbar in the Columbia River one afternoon and seen by five birders before the tide flooded its roosting spot and the bird was not seen again. While enjoying this bird one of the onlookers noted that in Cowlitz County the Caspian Tern is the common tern and the Common Tern is the rarer tern.

A couple of Red-necked Phalaropes were found on the former Longview Sewage Ponds providing the fourth record for the county. Found late in the afternoon of August 31st, they squeaked onto this list in the nick of time. Western Sandpipers were seen on numerous days in multiple locations to be added to the year list. Notable mostly because in 2019 we inexplicably missed this normally annual species completely. Nice to have them on the list again.

Download the pdf here.



Upcoming Events

Aug 14;
WHAS Annual Picnic
Sep 10-11;
Puget Sound Bird Fest
Sep 23-25;
Wings over Willapa Festival
Oct 08;
Board Meeting