by Dan Casey

 Rare and Notables – Nov/Dec

An out-of-season Brown-headed Cowbird and a regionally rare Lesser Goldfinch continued to sporadically visit feeders in Creston and Somers, respectively, throughout the period. Foy’s Lake and the West Valley Crane Viewing Area each supported a variety of waterfowl as warmer temperatures kept these sites primary ice-free. A lingering American White Pelican was also seen at Ninepipes NWR repeatedly through early December. See for more.

  • 11/23 – Harris’s Sparrow (1), Creston (Craig H.)
  • 11/26 – Yellow-headed Blackbird (1), Creston (Craig H.)
  • 11/27 – Anna’s Hummingbird (1), Somers (Al J.)
  • 11/28 – White-throated Sparrow (1), Whitefish (Linda S.)
  • 11/29 – Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1, late), Columbia Falls (Bridger D.)
  • 12/1 – Cackling Goose (29), West Valley (Mani. G) (small numbers elsewhere)
  • 12/1 – Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull (1 or more), Flathead landfill (Dan C.)
  • 12/14 – Brown-headed Cowbird (1), Creston, sporadically all fall (Craig H.)
  • 12/14 – White-winged Scoter (1), Foy’s Lake (Dan C.)
  • 12/14 – Surf Scoter (1)., Foy’s Lake (several sightings during the period) (Dan C.)
  • 12/15 – Lesser Goldfinch (1), Somers, present since 10/31`(Dan C.)

What to Expect – January 2022

As winter hits its stride, the last lingering half-hardy migrants will likely be gone. The few remaining American Robins, Killdeers, Wilson’s Snipes and any dabbling ducks other than Mallards (e.g. American Wigeon) will seek out those spring creeks that offer open water. Perhaps a Snowy Owl or two will join the many Rough-legged Hawks hunting in our farmlands. Well-stocked feeders should see a diversity of finches (Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, and perhaps Evening Grosbeaks) in addition to the usual chickadees, juncos and nuthatches.