by Dan Casey

Rare and Notables – Aug/Sept

Cold fronts were few and far between, and correspondingly, the quantity of fall migrants seemed low. But several rarities were found, including two county firsts (Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ruddy Turnstone).  Sandhill Cranes began to gather in the West Valley as the last hummingbirds, swallows and Ospreys moved on to points south.

  • 8/19 – Anna’s Hummingbird (through 9/01), Creston (David M.) Another in Kalispell (Harriet M.)
  • 8/20 – Chestnut-sided Warbler (county first), Columbia Falls (Bridger D.)
  • 8/24 – Ruddy Turnstone (county first), West Valley Bird and Wildlife Viewing Area (Dan C.)
  • 8/29 – Bohemian Waxwing (early), Jewel Basin Hawk Watch (Joshua C.)
  • 9/02 – Lapland Longspur, Jewel Basin Hawk Watch (Josh C.) Another in Somers, 9/03 (Dan C.)
  • 9/07 – Yellow-bellied x Red-naped Sapsucker (hybrid), Jewel Basin Hawk Watch (Joshua C.)
  • 9/10 – Palm Warbler, Lost Trail National WildlifeRefuge (Craig H., Rod W.)
  • 9/10 – Sabine’s Gull, West Valley ponds (Dan C.)
  • 9/12 – Short-billed Dowitcher, Creston Wetland (Craig H.)
  • 9/14 – American White Pelican (4), Creston Wetland (Craig H.)
  • 9/14 – Broad-winged Hawk (30) Jewel Basin Hawk Watch (Joshua C., Bo C.)
  • 9/16 – Short-billed (Mew) Gull West Valley Bird and Wildlife Viewing Area (Mani G.)

What to Expect – September2021

Late September through mid-October is a true migratory transition period.  Most neotropical migrants have left, although large, diverse flocks of sparrows can still be found. Waterfowl diversity and abundance also begins to increase, with the first Tundra Swans and scoters often appearing by mid-October.  Harbingers of winter include the first arrivals Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawks, Bohemian Waxwings, Iceland (Thayer’s) Gulls, and Rough-legged Hawks. It is prime time for stray Anna’s Hummingbirds (for those wishful thinkers who have left feeders out).