by Dan Casey

Rare and Notables – March-April

Although mid-April snows reminded us that winter was not entirely over, winter resident bird species such as Snowy Owl and Bohemian Waxwing departed, and spring migrants (swallows, cranes, waterfowl, shorebirds and more) continued to arrive on schedule throughout the period. Snow Geese were seen throughout the valley, and an amazing five goose species were seen together in the West Valley area April 6th. See for more.

  • 03/13 – Snowy Owl (1), Lower Valley near Somers; last day reported (Leslie K.)
  • 03/22 – Say’s Phoebe (1), Fairview Marsh (Craig H.)
  • 03/23 – Williamson’s Sapsucker (1), Herron Park (Jake B.)
  • 03/23 – Short-billed “Mew” Gull (1), Somers; still present 04/18 (Dan C.)
  • 03/27 – Canyon Wren (1), Columbia Mountain Trail (Jake B.)
  • 03/28 – Bohemian Waxwing (6), Kokanee Bed FAS; last report of winter (Jake B.)
  • 03/29 – Sora (1), Creston wetland (Craig H.)
  • 04/01 – Long-billed Curlew (1), Lake County (anon.); Flathead Co., 04/15 (Craig H.) 
  • 04/04 – Dunlin (3), West Valley ponds; seen by many through 04/07 (Mani G.)
  • 04/06 – Cackling Goose, “minima” subsp.  (4), West Valley (Dan C.)
  • 04/06 – Ross’s Goose (6), West Valley (five goose species present) (Thomas K.)
  • 04/07 – Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier NP (Steve G.)
  • 04/08 – Caspian Tern (2), Polson (Shawn R.)
  • 04/09 – Black-necked Stilt (1), West Valley Bird and Wildlife Viewing Area (Charles van R.)
  • 04/10 – Black-backed Woodpecker (1), Lakeside/Blacktail Mtn (Andy B.)
  • 04/15 – Northern Shrike (1), Brown’s Meadow Road; late date (Craig H.)

What to Expect – April-Sept 2022

The latter half of April marks the beginning of a period of accelerated arrival of spring migrants. New species of sparrows, warblers, thrushes, vireos and more will arrive almost daily throughout the month of May, ending with our latest arriving species (Red-eyed Vireo, Willow Flycatcher, Common Nighthawk) around the first of June. By early July, the breeding season will be over for most local species, and the first southbound migrant shorebirds will have arrived. By mid-August the variety of fall migrant shorebirds and landbirds will start to peak, and I will be writing the bird report for the first Pileated Post of the fall!