by Joshua Covill
Rare and Notables – September 2020
- 08/22 – the YELLOW-BILLED LOON (immature) found on Dickey Lake by Nikki M. on July 5th was last reported August 22nd.
- 08/22 – 3 Sanderling at the Creston Wetland pond (Craig H.)
- 08/31 – American Golden-Plover around the ponds in the West Valley on Clark Rd. (Craig H.)
- 09/01 – PARASITIC JAEGAR (light morph adult) found in the West Valley Ponds area, it flew south just after discovery and was not refound. (Curtis M.)
- 09/07 – A late-lingering Black Tern in the West Valley Ponds area (Curtis M.)
- 09/07 – 1 Black-bellied Plover at the pond on Farm Rd in the Lower Valley (Curtis M.)
What to Expect – October 2020
October is (unofficially) Sparrow Month! Hundreds of White-crowned Sparrows move south through the Flathead Valley, and among them you can find a White-throated or even a Harris’s Sparrow. Check hedgerows, thickets with berry bushes, and active bird feeders. The rare Swamp Sparrow could be found along marshy spots with dense tall grass and cattails. The hoards of Savannah Sparrows in the West Valley start to disperse and head south while Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs start to return. Surf and White-winged Scoters start to show up at random on larger bodies of water; check Foys Lake, Lake Mary Ronan, Lake McDonald, etc. with a scope for these large seaducks. The raptor numbers at the Jewel Basin Hawkwatch shift from small hawks to Golden Eagles in October. On a good day up there, one can see 50 migrating Golden Eagles! Keeping a well-maintained hummingbird feeder up may pay off with a wayward Anna’s Hummingbird. This chunky hummingbird from the west coast has a pattern of vagrancy in western Montana starting in October, and some have stayed until December!