by Joshua Covill

Rare and Notables – February 2020

  • 01/20 – Rusty Blackbird feeding in the cow pasture on Fox Farm Road (Cory D.)
  • 01/20 – Northern Saw-whet Owl heard tooting from private residence south of Col. Falls (Chris H.)
  • 01/24 – Iceland Gull (Thayer’s subspecies) spotted at the Flathead Co Landfill (Zack S.)
  • 01/30 – Prairie Falcon along Highway 2 north of Kalispell (Jake B.)
  • 02/05 – Prairie Falcon south of Kalispell along Hwy 93 (Ray W.)
  • 02/08 – IVORY GULL (immature) was found on     JANUARY 30th by Craig Barefoot in Blue Bay on Flathead Lake. A Montana state first drawing birders from all over the country! It stayed until Feb 8th, the last day it was seen.
  • 02/13 – 3 Red-breasted Mergansers on the Flathead River seen from the Ranchettes Rd fishing access (Craig H.)
  • 02/12 – Great Gray Owl was spotted in the West Valley on Fox Farm Road (Cory D.)
  • 02/14 – Northern Pygmy-Owl northwest of Whitefish (Jordan G.)
  • 02/15 – 11 Red-breasted Mergansers on the lake in Lakeside (Dan C.)
  • 02/15 – Common Grackle visiting the feeders of Craig H. along with 2 Yellow-headed Blackbirds have been overwintering rarities this year.

What to Expect – March 2020

March is the start of Spring, even if it doesn’t feel like it. The first Varied Thrushes show up late Feb in yards & under trees where there’s bare ground. 2nd week of March the first Bluebirds arrive; drive all of Smith Lake Road for your best chance to spot them. Tree Swallows should start to grace phone wires after the Vernal Equinox. Thawing bodies of water accommodate the influx of ducks as waterfowl migration peaks in late March. Church Slough can be PACKED with 1,000s American Wigeon and Tundra Swans by mid month. The grand Snow Geese spectacle at Freezout Lake hits its peak late March; keep an eye on the Birding Montana Facebook page for Snow Goose updates!