[Tweeters] Washington list: 497+2=499

Hal Opperman hal at catharus.net
Sat Sep 18 11:51:56 PDT 2010

Hi Tweets,

Thanks to the many off-list replies from interested birders we now seem to have a definitive count of the number of species on the official (i.e., Washington Bird Records Committee) list.

Ryan Merrill has prepared an update of the WBRC checklist, which Nancy Hertzel has just put up on the WOS website. The count: 497 species.

To these one may safely add two recent, well-photographed Washington firsts that will probably be reviewed by the WBRC at its next meeting: Bob Sundstrom's Lesser Sand-Plover and Mike and MerryLynn Dennys' Canada Warbler. Barring any omissions or miscounts, this brings the total to 499 species. We still have more than three months to reach number 500 within the first decade of the century.

Here is a calculation of the changes that have been made since the publication of the annotated checklist in the ABA birdfinding guide (2003), which showed 478 species.

One species removed by action of the WBRC (Mute Swan).

One species removed by AOU (Black-backed Wagtail lumped into White Wagtail).

Two species added by AOU (Cackling Goose split from Canada Goose, Sooty Grouse split from former Blue Grouse, the latter now renamed Dusky Grouse).

The above change result in no net gain or loss; the count remains 478 species.

The following 19 new species have been reviewed and accepted by the WBRC:

Crested Caracara - Ocean Shores, 13 Aug 1983
Great Black-backed Gull - Cedar River mouth, 12 Jan-16 Feb 2004
Common Eider - Port Angeles, 3-13 Aug 2004
Black-tailed Gull - North Cove, 3 Aug-20 Oct 2004
Little Stint - Yakima River mouth, 5-13 Aug 2004
Northern Wheatear - Nisqually NWR, 4 Sep 2004
Baikal Teal - Kent Ponds, 12 Dec 2004-19 Apr 2005
Redwing - Olympia, 21 Dec 2004-14 Mar 2005
Glossy Ibis - Nisqually NWR, 30 May 2005
Red-necked Stint - Dungeness, 28-31 Jul 2005
Temminck's Stint - Ocean Shores, 9-10 Nov 2005
Whooper Swan - Snohomish, 25-29 Dec 2006
Ashy Storm-Petrel - off Westport, 24 Jun 2006
Smith's Longspur - Redmond, 30 Aug 2006
Common Ringed-Plover - Port Susan Bay, 23 Sep 2006
Bell's Vireo - Wshtucna, 6 Sep 2008
Variegated Flycatcher - Windust Park, 6-7 Sep 2008
Hawaiian Petrel - off Westport, 27 Sep 2008
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - Windust Park, 30 Aug 2009

Bringing the total to 497 species.

Finally, the two recently discovered species, not yet reviewed by the WBRC:

Lesser Sand-Plover - Ocean Shores, 26-27 Aug 2010
Canada Warbler - Burbank, 5-6 Sep 2010

499 species and counting -- but up or down? I hope all the corrections are in, but will make no claims.

Hal Opperman
Medina, Washington
hal at catharus.net

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