Kootenai County Century Counts
June 6, 2001
The 4th Annual Century Count was held June 6. Our first count covered Benewah, Kootenai and Bonner Counties. The last three years we have limited it to Kootenai County. This year we set a record high of 106 species. (The record was 102 in 2000)
Many of the birds on our list are commonly found in several locations. However, If we wanted to find 100 bird species we knew we had to travel to different types of habitat and in some cases, specific locations to find some of our more elusive feathered friends. Our route was planned to locate these hard to find species. We knew their locations from past birding experience, prior reconnaissance and help from Steve Lindsay, who has been scouring Kootenai County since January 1 on his "Big Year" bird quest.
Our first target bird was the Western Bluebird. We knew a pair was nesting in one of our boxes in Mica Bay. The Bank Swallow we found in large numbers. They are nesting in banks behind a business building on the north side of Seltice Way. The Horned Lark was a little harder, but by following Steve's directions we found a couple in the fields behind the Outlet Mall west of Post Falls. We were saddened by the fact that as the Rathdrum Prairie and Post Falls continue to sprout more buildings, the Horned Lark may survive in name only (on a street sign - Horned Lark Lane).
From here we drove across the Prairie adding the Western Flycatcher but missing Gray Partridge and Vesper Sparrow which Cindi Langlitz often sees near the CDA Airport.
We had started at 5:00 a.m. along the shores of Fernan Lake. It was around noon when we stopped for a break at the home and feeders of Kris Buchler where we added Downy Woodpecker, Mountain Chickadee and Calliope Hummingbird. Our bird list was already up to 80 species. We now had most of the commonly seen birds. The next 20 would be a challenge.
A stop at Fourth of July Pass gave us two of these, a Cassin's Vireo and Western Tanager. We picked up Gadwall, Redhead and Hooded Merganser in the Cataldo area. Susan Weller invited us by her home and helped add Rufous and Black-chinned Hummingbird. These had eluded us so far because they had stopped coming into feeders. When the hummingbirds first arrive in the spring they are common at area feeders. Then they disappear for a few weeks to raise a family only to return again with young ones in tow. We couldn't find the Band-tailed Pigeon that has been hanging around Susan's house but we did find the Chestnut-backed Chickadee which had nested in her back woods.
Other target birds were located in their expected places. We found Bobolink on the Tamarack Ridge Road (but not the hoped for Lazuli Bunting) and American Redstart in Shady Lane, just south of Rose Lake (but not the expected Veery).
Our best find of day was the American White Pelican. We counted 3 of them on Cave Lake.
This was not entirely unexpected. Cindi Langlitz had reported to me that Jesse White had seen 7 of them there on June 4. We thought this was bird species 100 so we whooped, hollered and gave high-fives! Then our scribes, Elaine Codding and Nancy Mertz, did a recount coming up with only 98. We immediately added number 99, an American Goldfinch feeding in a nearby cottonwood.
It was now 7:30 p.m. and we had one target bird left on our list, a Bullock's Oriole that had been seen at Thompson Lake twice during the past two weeks. Sure enough, five minutes after arriving at the Thompson Lake road, the participants in my car added the Bullock's Oriole as their 100th bird. For the birders in Lisa's car, looking in the other direction, the Ring-necked Duck was their 100th. We soon located each other's birds giving us a total of 101.
We continued around the lake adding 5 more birds: Ruddy Duck, Marsh Wren, Wilson's Warbler, Ruffed Grouse, and Wild Turkey. Expected, but missing from our list were the Belted Kingfisher and Hairy Woodpecker.
Participants included: Kris Buchler, Dick and Elaine Codding, Bill Gundlach, Lisa Hardy, Nancy Mertz, Gary Nilson, Jan Severtson, Shirley Sturts, Judy Waring.
May 30, 2006 - no write-up
June 4, 2011
June 4th found many intrepid birders gathered at 4:45 a.m. at the Fernan Ranger Station ready to embark on an intensive big day of birding. It turned out reasonably well, considering it was a very late spring and a few species had not yet returned.
We used a mix of hard work, a few iPods to attract difficult species, our eyes and ears to finally reach our goal of 100 species. The protocol had been fined-tuned to make everyone work hard and be part of the count. I think we accomplished that as several people saw and heard new life birds.
Our itinerary took us to many habitats. We began along Latour Creek and the rich riparian lands bordering the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. We visited areas of Cataldo, Old River Road and Tamarck Ridge. Lane Marsh and the Schlepp Ranch provided waterfowl and many small songbirds. City streets of Coeur d’Alene coughed up a few species as well as Mica Bay and Blackwell Island. We finished the day on the Rathdrum Prairie, finding 2 species, Western Kingbird and Horned Lark, that made the whole day worthwhile.
It was a day special to each person in a different way. Following are some of the highlights for participants. Join us next year for a day of challenging and rewarding birding.
- Horned Lark late in the day (Janet)
- Cinnamon Teal - perfect time of day – bill and feet – like diamonds, glittering on the water in the noon day sun - a picture to always remember (Tootie) •
- Colorful Lazuli Bunting (life bird) - wonderful learning opportunity for a beginner like myself - best overall was the patiently helpful, kind, and fun Homo sapiens (Sally)
- Vibrant orange and black of an American Redstart as he zips from perch to perch. The melody of the Veery’s song is captivating, and his “yurt!” as he skulked away from us in the underbrush compelled us to follow. The day was capped with the tinkling sound (like glass wind chimes) of the many Horned Larks hopping about on the prairie in the dwindling light (Kris)
- Orange-crowned Warbler - I seldom see one – sharing some great views of special birds with friends (Shirley) •
- Redstart was my first favorite moment. I loved seeing the Bobolink -another life bird for me. Calling in the flycatchers, and seeing the Horned Larks on the prairie rounded out an absolutely wonderful day (Darlene) •
- favorite moment on the Century Count was to see the smiles when I passed out candy! Roland
Species -137 total 1001 2006 2011 Tundra Swan x x Snow Goose x Canada Goose x x x Wood Duck x x x Gadwall x x x American Wigeon x x Mallard x x x Blue-winged Teal x x x Cinnamon Teal x x x Northern Shoveler x x x Green-winged Teal x x x Redhead x x x Ring-necked Duck x x x Lesser scaup Bufflehead x Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser x x Common Merganser Ruddy Duck x x Gray Partridge x Ring-necked Pheasant x x Ruffed Grouse x Wild Turkey x x x California Quail x x Common Loon Pied-billed Grebe x x Red-neckded Grebe x x x Western Grebe x x American White Pelican x x Double-crested Cormorant x x Great Blue Heron x x x White-faced Ibis x Turkey Vulture x x x Osprey x x x Bald Eagle x x x Northern Harrier x x Sharp-shinned Hawk x Cooper's Hawk x Red-tailed Hawk x x x American Kestrel x x x Virginia Rail x Sora x x x American Coot x x x Killdeer x x x Spotted Sandpiper x x x Wilson's Snipe x Wilson's Phalarope x x Ring-billed Gull x x x California Gull x x Black Tern x x Rock Pigeon x x Mourning Dove x x x Great Horned Owl Northern Pygmy-Owl Vaux's Swift Black-chinned Hummingbird x x x Calliope Hummingbird x x x Rufous Hummingbird x x Belted Kingfisher x x Red-naped Sapsuker x x Downy Woodpecker x x Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker x x x Pileaed Woodpecker Olive-sided Flycatcher x x Western Wood-Pewee x x x Willow Flycatcher x x Least Flcatcher Hammond's Flycatcher x x x Dusky Flycatcher x Western Flycatcher x x Western Kingbird x x x Eastern Kingbird x x x Cassin's Vireo x x x Warbling Vireo x x x Red-eyed Vireo x x Gray Jay Steller's Jay x x Black-billed Magpie x x x American Crow x x x Common Raven x x x Horned Lark x x x Tree Swallow x x x Violet-green Swallow x x x N-Rough-winged Swallow x x x Cliff Swallow x x x Bank Swallow x x Barn Swallow x x x Black-capped Chickadee x x x Mountain Chickadee x x x Chestnut-b Chickadee x x Red-breasted Nuthatch x x x Pygmy Nuthatch x x x Bewick's Wren x House Wren x x x Pacific Wren x Marsh Wren x x Golden-crowned Kinglet x x Western Bluebird x x x Veery x x x Swainson's Thrush x x x American Robin x x x Varied Thrush Gray Catbird x x x European Starling x x x Cedar Waxing x x x Orange-crowned Warbler x x x Nashville Warbler x x Yellow Warbler x x x Yellow-rumped Warbler x x x Townsend's Warbler x x x American Redstart x x x Northern Waterthrush x x MacGillivray's Warbler x x x Common Yellowthroat x x x Western Tanager x x x Spotted Towhee x x x Chipping Sparrow x x x Savannah Sparrow x x x Song Sparrow x x x Dark-eyed Junco x x x Black-headed Grosbeak x x x Lazuli Bunting x x Bobolink x x x Red-winged Blackbird x x x Western Meadowlark x x x Yellow-headed Blackbird x x x Brewer's Blackbird x x x Brown-headed Cowbird x x x Bullock's Oriolle x x x Cassin's Finch x x House Finch x x x Red Crossbill x x x Pine Siskin x x Ameican Goldfinch x x Evening Grosbeak x x x House Sparrow x x x TOTAL 106 116 98