by Dan Casey

Rare and Notables – Oct/Nov

Wintery weather was slow to come, but winter migrants and residents began to arrive, including Tundra Swans, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Shrikes, Bohemian Waxwings and Common Redpolls. Rarities included all three scoter species, 2 lingering Anna’s Hummingbirds, and a Lesser Goldfinch in Somers. See for more.

  • 9/28 – Sabine’s Gull, West Valley Ponds (Craig H.)
  • 10/7 – Snow Goose (40), Jewel Basin Hawk Watch (Joshua C.) First of season.
  • 10/9 – Greater White-fronted Goose, (3)West Valley (Shannon and Bridger D.)
  • 10/21 – Harris’s Sparrow (2, through 10/30), Columbia Falls (Shannon and Bridger D.)
  • 10/22 – Short-billed (Mew) Gull (2), Flathead Lake at Somers (Joshua C.)
  • 10/23 – Anna’s Hummingbird (2), Creston feeder (Rich P.) Present some time.
  • 10/26 – Surf Scoter (2), Creston (Craig H.) Also at Somers (10/29), Foy’s Lake (11/11)
  • 10/28 – White-winged Scoter (6), Foy’s Lake (Dan C.) Up to eight the following week.
  • 10/29 – Black Scoter, Somers (with Surf Scoter) (Dan C.)
  • 10/31 – Lesser Goldfinch, Somers (Dan C.) Third record north of Flathead Lake.
  • 11/1 – Boreal Owl, Bowman Lake (Justin G.)
  • 11/5 – Rusty Blackbird, Creston (Craig H.)
  • 11/10 – Cackling Goose (14), West Valley Bird and Wildlife Viewing Area (Mani G.)
  • 11/11 – Snow Bunting (37), West Valley (Jake B. and Cory D.)

What to Expect – December 2021

Increasing numbers of Common (and a few Hoary) Redpolls, Bohemian Waxwings and Rough-legged Hawks will be evident as snow starts to fly. Waterfowl diversity should remain high where open water can be found, and rarer species of gulls (e.g. Glaucous, Glaucous-winged, and Lesser Black-backed) may join the flocks at the landfill and the north shore of Flathead Lake. Watch your feeders for such uncommon species as White-throated Sparrow and Lesser Goldfinch.