by Dan Casey

Rare and Notables – Oct/Nov 2022

Well, the unseasonably warm weather came to a rather abrupt halt in mid-October. By mid-November, the Sandhill Cranes had left, Tundra Swans and Snow Geese were passing through, and Rough-legged Hawks were here in good numbers. White-winged and Surf Scoters graced Foy’s Lake and scattered individual Harris’s Sparrows and Anna’s Hummingbirds graced local yards. A Glaucous Gull at the landfill was the first this winter in the western U.S. outside Alaska. See also:

  • 10/19 – Short-billed Dowitcher (1) West Valley Ponds (Craig H.)
  • 10/19 – Dunlin (1) West Valley Ponds (Craig H.); also Polson 11/16 (Shawn R.)
  • 10/23 – Surf Scoter (3) Foy’s Lake (Leslie K.); 1-6 present through 11/16 (CRAIG F.)
  • 10/28 – White-winged Scoter (1) Foy’s Lake (Darcy T.) Still present 11/01 (Dan C.)
  • 11/02 – Northern Saw-whet Owl (1) Somers (Dan C.)
  • 11/02 – Short-billed (Mew) Gull (1) Flathead County landfill (Dan C.); Bigfork 11/12 (Craig H.)
  • 11/03 – Anna’s Hummingbird (1) Somers (Alan J.); also (2) Bigfork, 11/06 (Paula S.)
  • 11/08 – Harris’s Sparrow (1) Columbia Falls (thru 11/14; Bridger D.) Also Creston, Kalispell
  • 11/08 – Rusty Blackbird (1) Whitefish (Scott F.); Also (1) Polson, 11/15 (Braydon L.) 
  • 11/09 – Glaucous Gull (1 ad.) Flathead County landfill (Dan C.) 
  • 11/12 – Pacific Loon (1) Wayfarer’s State Park (Craig H.)
  • 11/16 – Varied Thrush (1) Kila (Dan C.); (1) Bigfork (Margaret P.)

What to Expect – December 2022

While the first Christmas Bird Counts always help to uncover a diversity of lingering out-of-season birds, our winter resident birds will be settling into place. Watch for large flocks of Bohemian Waxwings to start gathering (with attendant Merlins), Harlan’s Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks on poles watching for unwary voles, and perhaps the first Common Redpolls. Early winter is still a good time to look for rare gulls, loons or diving ducks. And watch your feeders for the occasional odd visitor among the usual suspects!