Spring 2021


Thursday, April 22, 2021, the Washington Bird Records Committee met via Zoom for a spring meeting. Normally, the spring packet of reports is voted on only remotely, with reports receiving mixed votes held-over until the annual Fall meeting. The ability to meet over Zoom allowed the committee to deliberate over these reports sooner this year.
Here’s a summary of our results:

  • 29 reports were accepted as valid new records.
  • 1 additional record was accepted as continuing sightings of a record previously accepted at an earlier meeting.
  • 8 reports were not accepted.
  • 1 additional report was re-reviewed, resulting in no change to the original decision.

The WBRC accepted one species new to the state list: Winter Wren

This brings the official Washington State Checklist to 521 species, including 508 species fully accredited (supported by specimen, photograph, or recording) and 13 species which are sight-only records (supported only by written documentation).

Votes in parentheses (# accepted – # not accepted – # abstain)
[Notations: p=photo, v = video, a = audio, s = sketch]


EMGO-2020-1, Emperor Goose – 3 Nov 2020, Snively Rd., 2 mi NW of W. Richland, Benton County. Nick Hoffard [w, p] (6-1-0).

BESW-2019-2, “Bewick’s” Tundra Swan (C.c. bewickii) – 20 Jan – 23 Feb 2019, Skagit WMA, North Fork Access, Skagit County. Adrian Lee [p], Ryan Merrill [p] (7-0-0).

BESW-2021-1, “Bewick’s” Tundra Swan (C.c. bewickii) – 17 Feb 2021, Vancouver Lowlands, Vancouver, Clark County. Jim Danzenbaker [w], Randy Hill [w], Cindy McCormack [w] (7-0-0).

UPSA-2005-1, Upland Sandpiper – 11 Aug 2005, Deming Homesteader Road, Whatcom County. Wayne Weber [w] (7-0-0).

LIGU-2020-1, Little Gull – 16-17 Oct 2020, Point No Point, Hansville, Kitsap County. Brad Waggoner [w, p], Jason Vassallo [p] (7-0-0).

SBGU-2020-2, Slaty-backed Gull – 28-29 Oct 2020, Cape Alava, Clallam County. Eric Heisey [w, p], Shep Thorp [w, p, v] (7-0-0).

SBGU-2021-1, Slaty-backed Gull – 4 Jan 2021, Carruthers Slough, Pacific County. Will Brooks [w, p] (7-0-0).

SNEG-2020-3, Snowy Egret – 4 Dec 2020 – 19 Jan 2021, Lower River Road, Vancouver, Clark County. Jordan Gunn [p], Tom O’Callahan [p] (7-0-0).

WTKI-2020-1, White-tailed Kite – 21-22 Dec 2020, Willow Grove, Longview, Cowlitz County. Randy Hill [w, p], Becky Kent [w, p], Shep Thorp [w, p] (7-0-0). NOTE: The committee agreed that these two records likely represent different individual White-tailed Kites.

WTKI-2020-2, White-tailed Kite – 29 Dec 2020 – 27 Feb 2021, Puget Island, Cathlamet, Wahkiakum County. Rachel Hudson [w, p], Dalton Spencer [w, p], Margaret Snell [p] (7-0-0). NOTE: The committee agreed that these two records likely represent different individual White-tailed Kites.

YBSA-2020-2, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 4 Dec 2020 – 1 Feb 2021, Jackson Elementary School area, Everett, Snohomish County. Amanda Colbert [p], Dick Holcomb [p], Teri Martine [p], Dennis Paulson [p], David Poortinga [p], Netta Smith [p], Gregg Thompson [p] (7-0-0).

YBSA-2020-3, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 6 Dec 2020 – 17 Feb 2021, 19th St., Fall City, King County. Carl Haynie [w, p], Dalton Spencer [w, p], Nadine Drisseq [p], Mason Maron [p], Kazuto Shibata [p, v], Jason Vassallo [p] (7-0-0).

YBSA-2021-1, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 5 Jan 2021, Dixie, Walla Walla County. Larry Goodhew [w, p] (7-0-0).

WIWR-2021-1, Winter Wren – 8-27 Jan 2021, West Orting Farms, Orting, Pierce County. Will Brooks [w, p, a], Ed Pullen [w, p, a], Bill Tweit [w], Brad Waggoner [w, p, a], Jordan Gunn [p], Liam Hutcheson [p], Ryan J Merrill [p, a] (7-0-0). NOTE: State first record.

BRTH-2020-2, Brown Thrasher – 13 Oct 2020, Palatine Ave. N., Seattle, King County. Kelly Forsyth [w] (7-0-0).

WHWA-2020-1, White Wagtail (“Black-backed” M.a. lugens) – 14-15 Oct 2020, Alki Beach, West Seattle, King County. Sam Fason [w, p], John Puschock [w, p], Greg Harrington [p] (Species ID: 7-0-0, Subspecies ID: lugens = 7 votes).

PUFI-2020-1, “Eastern” Purple Finch (H.p. purpureus) – 27 Dec 2020 – 1 Jan 2021, Highland Park, Seattle, King County. Ryan Merrill [w, p] (7-0-0).

PUFI-2021-1, “Eastern” Purple Finch (H.p. purpureus) – 22 Feb – 4 Mar 2021, Pine Bluff, Chatteroy, Spokane County. Andrew Thomas [w, p], Michael Woodruff [w, p], Marlene Cashen [p], Jacob Elonen [p], Jon Isacoff [p], Curtis Mahon [p], Mark Selle [p] (7-0-0).

HORE-2020-2, Hoary Redpoll – 28 Nov 2020, Sun Lakes SP, Grant County. Ryan Merrill [w, p] (7-0-0).

HOOR-2020-1, Hooded Oriole – 31 Dec 2020 – 1 Feb 2021, Bay Center, Pacific County. Rachel Hudson [w, p], Dalton Spencer [w, p], Bill Tweit [w], Jordan Gunn [p], Jordan Roderick [p] (7-0-0).

COGR-2020-2, Common Grackle – 11 Dec 2020 – 3 Jan 2021, Neal Road, Fall City, King County. Matt Bartels [w], Alan Grenon [w], Carl Haynie [w], Mason Maron [w, p], Dalton Spencer [w, p], Sam Fason [p], Jordan Gunn [p] (7-0-0).

COGR-2020-3, Common Grackle – 14-15 Dec 2020, south of Walla Walla, Walla Walla County. Mike & MerryLynn Denny[w], Jim Parrish [p] (7-0-0).

COGR-2021-1, Common Grackle – 9-13 Jan 2021, 27600 78th Ave S. Kent, King County. Nadine Drisseq [w, p], Raphael Fennimore [w, p, v], John Puschock [p] (7-0-0).

OVEN-2011-2, Ovenbird – 19 Jun 2011, Battleground, Clark County. Jim Danzenbaker [w] (7-0-0).

BAWW-1984-1, Black-and-white Warbler – 13 Sep 1984, Billy J. Frank Nisqually NWR, Thurston County. Glenn Dunmire [w] (7-0-0).

BAWW-1998-4, Black-and-White Warbler – 30 May 1998, Northrup Canyon, Grant County. Wayne Weber [w] (7-0-0).

BTBW-2020-3, Black-throated Blue Warbler – 22 Dec 2020, SW Bank Rd., Vashon Island, King County. Gary Shugart [w, p] (7-0-0).

PRAW-2020-1, Prairie Warbler – 3 Nov 2020, Kaiser Rd., Olympia, Thurston County. Liam Hutcheson [w, p] (7-0-0).

PABU-2020-1, Painted Bunting – 30 Nov – 2 Dec 2020, Federal Ave, Everett, Snohomish County. Jay Gravelle [w], Bernadette Miklusicak [p] (7-0-0).


Slaty-backed Gull in Eastern Washington: The committee agreed that the December 2020 – February 2021 record of a Slaty-backed Gull in Walla Walla, Benton and Franklin counties (formerly treated as SBGU-2020-3) is best treated as a returning instance of SBGU-2016-1, the prior sighting of this species in the area the previous four winters. The two records are merged and treated as SBGU-2016-1.

Dates and observation info for December 2020 – February 2021 occurrence: Slaty-backed Gull – 19 Oct 2020 – 8 Feb 2021, Leslie Groves Park, Richland, Carpet Island & Wallula, Benton, Franklin & Walla Walla County. Bill and Nancy LaFramboise [w, p], RJ Baltierra [p], Jason Fidorra [p] (7-0-0).


LBMU-2020-1, Long-billed Murrelet – 10 Dec 2020, Discovery Park, Seattle, King County (0-7-0).

ARLO-2020-1, Arctic Loon – 29-31 Dec 2020, Saltwater SP, Des Moines, King County (0-7-0).

HORE-2020-1, Hoary Redpoll – 5 Nov 2020, S. Greystone Lane, Spokane, Spokane County (0-7-0).

HORE-2021-1, Hoary Redpoll – 5 Feb 2021, Chesaw Rd., Oroville, Okanogan County (0-7-0).

CCLO-2020-1, Chestnut-collared Longspur – 26 Oct 2020, Damon Point, Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor County (0-7-0).

EATO-2021-1, Eastern Towhee – 13-21 Feb 2021, East Wenatchee, Douglas County (0-7-0).

BAOR-2021-1, Baltimore Oriole – 1 Mar 2021, Moran Prairie, Spokane, Spokane County (0-7-0).

COGR-2020-1, Common Grackle – 28 Oct 2020, Capitol Hill, Seattle, King County (0-7-0).


The committee re-reviewed a record of Orchard Oriole from Neah Bay, Clallam County. This Orchard Oriole record was observed from 26 Oct 2014 to 8 Apr 2015. The committee reexamined this record in light of its long presence, and in light of the recent example of multiple Orchard Orioles being present in one season (see the fall 2020 meeting acceptance of six individuals from Sep – Dec 2019). On review, the committee agreed that there was no definitive evidence of multiple individuals and the record remains as originally published (7-0-0).

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