[Tweeters] Cowlitz Black Swift, Wahkiakum Green Heron, and Code 3 Pacific Co Birds

plkoyama at comcast.net plkoyama at comcast.net
Thu Aug 18 22:17:43 PDT 2016

Apologies for this very late report, but I’ve hardly been home since getting back from a 3-day county birding trip on Mon. night. By now, this will only be of use to county compilers/bird records folks! We touched on Lewis and Cowlitz counties before birding Wahkiakum on Sunday 8/14, then Pacific later in the day and on Monday 8/15. The birding was challenging, since it was not fall shorebird sites! In fact, if you didn’t actually see the bird, you’d have to know the chip/calls, as there was very little bird song. It sure made me realize how much we depend on by-ear birding!

Not a thing of note in Lewis County, but we only did Big Hannaford and Teitzel Rd there. The best bird in Cowlitz Co was a Code 5 Black Swift seen flying, then heard calling when it dipped low enough to allow an immediate verification of the call on play-back. This was at about 7 p.m. at our dinner stop at Kid Valley, east of Toutle after being disappointed by the few species seen at Mt St Helens’ Coldwater Lake.

Wahkiakum’s best birds were a Code 4 Green Heron at the Julia Butler Hansen Visitor Center and a Code 3 immature Evening Grosbeak a few miles up Middle Valley Road (actually Rd 1000 that high up.) It was fairly birdy, but we turned back when it seemed as though the sharp rocks might rip out the underside of our low-slung Prius!

In Pacific, we picked up a dozen new county birds, mostly “easy” ones, because, for a change, we were in forest at the southern part of the county in Cape Disappointment SP (where, by the way, it was 55 and foggy!) Most of our previous birding in Pacific had been for shorebirds in the Midway/Tokeland area. We had a Western Wood Pewee on North Jetty Road, a Wandering Tattler on the fishing rocks at the end of the Beard’s Hollow Trail to the water, a Horned Lark on the beach near the boat ramp at Ilwaco, Purple Martins on the long “dock” in the Ilwaco Marina, and Anna’s Hummer on the road to the Nemah Fish Hatchery (the birdiest of roads), all Code 3s.

It was good to get back in the sun, if not the hear. There are lots of birds to be had in southern Pacific County, but an interpretive sign in the SP said that it is one of the foggiest places in the USA with more than 100 days of that stuff!
Penny Koyama, Bothell
plkoyama at comcast dot net

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