2019 Shorebird Festival Birding Report

The following is a preliminary summary of the 2019 Shorebird Festival

Sunday evening

Preliminary Shorebird Festival Summary and some great stories!!

Sunday morning during the Festival event at the lower platform at the end of the FAA Rd, a lynx crossed above the end of Beluga Lake heading toward the platform at the end of the Calvin and Coyle trail! A wonderful opportunity for folks to see a lynx–no one remembers ever seeing a lynx there before in spite of many wildlife viewers in that area over the years. (I am going to attach the video I was sent. I believe this was taken by Lisle Gwynn. I also do not have permission to send it so am on shaky ground there also. It is such a fantastic glimpse of wildlife right here in Homer! If someone else took it, please let me know and I will send out a correction.)

On previous days in that same area, a nesting TRUMPETER SWAN was seen chasing off groups of geese that rest in that area. On four occasions it was reported that the swan would chase the group of geese up into the air and then target one goose to follow. One version of a chase on Saturday said the swan was maybe five feet behind the goose for several circles above the lake, getting closer and closer (the swan with his mouth open at times), seemingly snapping at the tailfeathers of the goose, he said! Usually the chase then went out of sight, the swan returning a while later… and the goose? Some other birder might have seen what happened there or we’ll never know.

It seems interesting that there is a pair of nesting SONG SPARROWS on the top of Gull Island. Never been reported before. (Spit real estate at a premium, perhaps?)

There were 124 species seen during the four days of the Festival. There are still some reports trickling in, so this number may go up. Last minute additions: HORNED LARKS near the Harbor and POMARINE JAEGER and SOOTY SHERWATER at the Anchor River. Overall, there was only one warbler (YELLOW-RUMPED) seen and one owl (GREAT HORNED); no flycatchers, no eiders. A highlight for many was seeing several CASPIAN TERNS on Saturday in the Mud Bay/Lighthouse Village Platform area.

A full updated list of species seen will be posted on our website, kachemakbaybirders.org, soon.

Saturday morning/afternoon

2019 Shorebird Festival BIRD UPDATE:
Saturday Morning/Afternoon Update—mostly new birds
Now we have one warbler reported—Yellow-rumped Warbler on the Calvin and Coyle trail.
And now one owl reported—Great Horned Owl on Skyline Dr.

*MUD BAY/ LIGHTHOUSE VILLAGE VIEWING PLATFORM
CASPIAN TERN, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, NORTHERN HARRIER, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, AMERICAN PIPIT, MERLIN

*END OF THE SPIT/HARBOR AREA
MARBLED GODWIT, CANVASBACK, WANDERING TATTLER, SURFBIRDS

*OUT IN THE BAY
(Glacier Spit/Gull Island): FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL, TUFTED PUFFIN, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, YELLOW-BILLED LOON, SURFBIRDS (215), SONG SPARROW (top of Gull Is.), LONG-TAILED DUCK

*BELUGA LAKE and the PLATFORMS on FAA Rd.
PEREGRINE FALCON, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, CANVASBACK (2), RING-NECKED DUCK, EURASIAN WIGEON, AMERICAN PIPIT

*In BELUGA SLOUGH/and BISHOP’S BEACH
LONG-TAILED JAEGER, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, GADWAL, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER

*CALVIN AND COYLE TRAIL
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, PACIFIC WREN

*WYNN NATURE CENTER/EAST SKYLINE
GREAT HORNED OWL, SPRUCE GROUSE

*ANCHOR RIVER
HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, SANDERLING, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, RED-FACED CORMORANT, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, PARASITIC JAEGER, GADWALL, HORNED PUFFIN, FORK-TAILIED STORM-PETREL, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BRANT, CANADA GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE

Friday Morning Update as of 11:00 am

*MUD BAY
WHIMBREL, WESTERN SANDPIPERS (~1000 on Wed. evening), LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDHILL CRANE

*LIGHTHOUSE VILLAGE VIEWING PLATFORM
WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BELTED KINGFISHER, SANDHILL CRANES (nesting), BALD EAGLE (nest observable), AMERICAN PIPIT, HERRING GULL, PACIFIC WREN

*MID SPIT (GREEN TIMBERS AND LOUIE’S LAGOON)
BRANT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, MERLIN, DOWITCHER sp., PACIFIC LOON

*END OF THE SPIT/HARBOR AREA
WANDERING TATTLER, SURFBIRDS (max. 400 at the mouth of the Harbor Thurs.), BLACK TURNSTONES, SAVANNAH SPARROW, YELLOW-BILLED LOON (apparently in OK condition, is molting; reported in the Fishing Hole part of Wednesday and was there Thursday morning)

*OUT IN THE BAY
(NE of the spit): ALEUTIAN TERN (2)
(Glacier Spit/Gull Island): TUFTED PUFFIN (26), ARCTIC TERN (30), DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, BRANT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, MARBLED MURRELET, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, BLACK TURNSTONE, WANDERING TATTLER
(Peterson Bay): Herring X Glaucous-wing Gull hybrid, KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, MARBLED MURRELET, RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, WANDERING TATTLER

*BELUGA LAKE and the PLATFORMS on FAA Rd.
CANVASBACK (2), RING-NECKED DUCK (7 near McDonald’s), SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, MERLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WHIMBREL, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, WILSON’S SNIPE,TRUMPETER SWAN (3), GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BELTED KINGFISHER, FOX SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, PACIFIC WREN, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, CANADA JAY, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT, PACIFIC WREN

*In BELUGA SLOUGH/and BISHOP’S BEACH
GADWAL, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, DOWITCHER sp., BELTED KINGFISHER, EURASIAN and AMERICAN WIGEON, TREE SWALLOWS, HARLEQUIN DUCKS, SANDHILL CRANES, FOX SPARROW, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, MERLIN

*WYNN NATURE CENTER/EAST SKYLINE
SPRUCE GROUSE, BROWN CREEPER, DARK-EYED JUNCO, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, TREE SWALLOW, VARIED THRUSH, BOREAL CHICKADEE

*SEASIDE FARMS (5 miles out East End Rd.)
HERMIT THRUSH, DOWNY WOODPECKER

*ANCHOR RIVER
NORTHERN FLICKER, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (2), BLACK TURNSTONES (23), WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, CACKLING GEESE, YELLOW-BILLED LOON, AMERICAN PIPIT, SAVANNAH SPARROW, MERLIN, SANDERLING, PARASITIC JAEGER.

Thursday Morning Report as of 10:30 am, including Shorebird Monitoring session Wednesday night

*MUD BAY
WESTERN SANDPIPERS (~1000 on Wed. evening), MARBLED GODWITS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, YELLOWLEGS

*LIGHTHOUSE VILLAGE VIEWING PLATFORM
WESTERN SANDPIPERS, SANDHILL CRANES (nesting)

*GREEN TIMBERS
RUDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, MERLIN

*LOUIE’S LAGOON
BLACK TURNSTONE, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, DOWITCHER sp. (32), LAPLAND LONGSPUR, LONG-TAILED DUCK

*END OF THE SPIT/HARBOR AREA
WANDERING TATTLER, SURFBIRDS (400 at the mouth of the Harbor!), BLACK TURNSTONES, SAVANNAH SPARROW, YELLOW-BILLED LOON (apparently in OK condition, is molting; reported in the Fishing Hole part of Wednesday and was there Thursday morning)

*OUT IN THE BAY
(Glacier Spit): TUFTED PUFFIN (5), ARCTIC TERN (10), BRANT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, MARBLED MURRELET, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER,
(Peterson Bay): Herring X Glaucous-wing Gull hybrid, KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, MARBLED MURRELET, RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, WANDERING TATTLER
(Gull Is.): TUFTED PUFFINS (16)

*BELUGA LAKE and the PLATFORMS on FAA Rd.
CANVASBACK, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WHIMBREL (25 FLY-OVER Thurs morn), WESTERN SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, TRUMPETER SWAN (3), GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BELTED KINGFISHER, FOX SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, PACIFIC WREN, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, CANADA JAY, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW

*In BELUGA SLOUGH/and BISHOP’S BEACH
WHIMBREL (13), DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BELTED KINGFISHER, EURASIAN and AMERICAN WIGEON, TREE SWALLOWS, HARLEQUIN DUCKS, SANDHILL CRANES, FOX SPARROW, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, MERLIN

*ANCHOR RIVER
BLACK TURNSTONES (23), WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, CACKLING GEESE

2019 Shorebird Festival BIRD REPORT: Wed. May 8th as of 3:00 pm

MUD BAY/LIGHT-HOUSE VILLAGE VIEWING PLATFORM/MARINER PARK (at the base of the spit): CANVASBACK (4), NORTHERN HARRIER

END OF THE SPIT/HARBOR AREA/UP TO THE BARGE BASIN: YELLOW-BILLED LOON (in or near Harbor), SONG SPARROW, WANDERING TATTLER, SAVANNAH SPARROW

OUT IN THE BAY
(Gull Island/Peterson Bay area)
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, KITLITZ’S MURRELET, MARBLED MURRELET, TUFTED PUFFIN (4), WANDERING TATTLER (2), WESTERN SANDPIPER, DOWITCHER sp.

At BELUGA LAKE AND the PLATFORMS (at the end of the FAA Rd. there by the airport terminal): DOWITCHER sp., TRUMPETER SWAN, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET

In BELUGA SLOUGH/and BISHOP’S BEACH
DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, MERLIN, BELTED KINGFISHER, EURASIAN WIGEON, TREE SWALLOWS, SANDHILL CRANE, WESTERN SANDPIPER (56), CANVASBACK (3), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER

On the TRAIL DOWN BELOW the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
FOX SPARROW, TREE SWALLOW, LESSER SANDHILL CRANES

ANCHOR RIVER (from the parking lot to the mouth of the river): BLACK TURNSTONES (23), BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMAED PLOVER, CACKLING GEESE, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER.

2016 Christmas Bird Count Results

 

Homer’s Christmas Bird Count (12-17-16)

FINAL REPORT

Forty two volunteers participated in Homer’s annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, five watching feeders in their own yard and the others out in the field. The weather was not too cooperative with icy walking, limited visibility for most of the day and resulting decreased available daylight hours, but many were expressing the same thought, “We’ve seen much worse!”

A total of 64 species were seen on the Count Day (Saturday, December 17). Highlights included a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW found at a feeder near Crittenden St., a BELTED KINGFISHER found in Beluga Slough near the culvert from the lake, and a single SANDERLING found among the ROCK SANDPIPERS on the Homer Spit. CHUKARS, a colorful gamebird related to a pheasant, were found at a residence out East End Rd, though possibly may not count as an official species due to their probable domestic escapee status.

Three additional species were seen during the Count Week (three days before and three days after Count Day): SNOW BUNTING, MERLIN, and GREAT-HORNED OWL.

There were 10,492 individual birds counted. Most numerous species were MALLARDS (3422), ROCK SANDPIPERS (1700), and COMMON GOLDENEYE (820). Only one COMMON MURRE was seen this year, compared to the die-off that was developing at this time last year when over 200 were counted. (In winter, murres are typically out at sea instead of here in the bay.)

A big thanks to all the volunteers who participated, to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for letting us use their space for our meeting and potluck, the local Kachemak Bay Birders, and to Dave Erikson for coordinating yet another Christmas Bird Count. It was indeed a Great Day to Bird!

 

Kenai Birding Festival

KENAI BIRDING FESTIVAL

MAY 19-22 Thursday through Sunday

Go to http://www.kenaibirdfest.com for a printable schedule of events and festival brochure.

 

This year Lynn Barber is our featured keynote speaker. Lynn previously did a North America Big Year and presently is doing an Alaska Big Year.

 

Kenai River Float Trip Thursday May 19th

Five drift boats, each with local birding guide. Starts at Skilak Lake and ends at Bing’s Landing. Sixty plus bird species annually recorded on this trip with 100 cumulative species tallied. This very popular trip runs the mighty and beautiful Kenai River during the quiet but very “birdy” spring season. $150/person.

 

Kasilof River Float Trip Friday May 20th

New this year! One raft with birding guide will venture down the Kasilof River. This trip starts in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge and ends at the Sterling Highway Bridge. This smaller river that drains Tustumena Lake is perfect for a slower more intimate float with birds at close range. $100 per person.

Float trips include a hearty lunch. Participants assemble at 7 AM and trips conclude between 2 to 4 PM. Bathroom facilities are limited to the starting and ending points.

Register for the Kenai River Float Trips now. Call the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at 262-9814 to reserve your spot! All float trip proceeds go to sustaining the festival. All other festival events are absolutely free. The float trips are personally my favorite events to guide. If you haven’t been on one then you really haven’t birded the Kenai Peninsula. They are highly recommended if you love birding and enjoy getting off the beaten birding path. 

 

Toby Burke Kenai, AK

Crane Count Days–Please Help!

The Cranewatch folks would like people to volunteer to count cranes seen on the following dates:

August 27th, September 2nd, and September 8th between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:00 pm.

To submit a report, email reports@cranewatch.org or call and leave a message at 235-6262. 

Information needed for each day: Number of cranes: number of adults, number of colts, and the number of cranes with attached transmitters. Date and time and location.

For more information, contact Nina Faust 235-6262.

 

Crane Count Days

 

The Cranewatch folks would like people to volunteer to count cranes seen on the following dates:

August 27th, September 2nd, and  September 8th between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:00 pm.

To submit a report, email reports@cranewatch.org or call and leave a message at 235-6262. For more information, contact Nina Faust 235-6262. Information needed for each day: Number of cranes: number of adults, number of colts, and the number of cranes with attached transmitters. Date and time and location.

Festival Bird Report/Updates

Kachemak Bay/Homer Festival Bird Report: 5-10-15

Updates DAILY on Kachemak Bay Birders' website home page http://kachemakbaybirders.org/

 

(birds were seen 5-9-15 unless otherwise noted.)

Mariner Park Lagoon (Lighthouse Village)–

RED KNOT seen from about 7:45 pm at the evening Viewing Station!!

 

42 species seen from platform Saturday morning!!

 

 

 

5-9 (morning):PARASITIC JAEGER, ALEUTIAN and ARCTIC TERN, VI

OLET-GREEN SWALLOW, NORTHERN SHOVELER, BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LEAST SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SANDHILL CRANES, FOX SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, ROCK PIGEON, AMERICAN ROBIN, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL, MALLARD, BALD EAGLE, HERRING GULL. Out on the water to the west: COMMON EIDER, WHITE-WINGED, SURF and BLACK SCOTERS, HARLEQUIN DUCK, PIGEON GUILLIMOT, COMMON and PACIFIC LOON, RED-NECKED GREBE, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE. Later in the day: NORTHERN HARRIER.

 

Mud Bay

EMPEROR GOOSE a little south of this area on the morning of the 9thand it was seen later in the afternoon in Mud Bay across on the little spit to the east. Reports said it was with a group of about 4 BRANT. (Earlier seen in the Green Timbers/Louie's Lagoon area—where to check if it's not near Mud Bay.) Also SANDERLINGS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN, BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, DOWITCHERS sp., SANDHILL CRANES, BONAPARTE'S GULLS, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS.

 

Mud Bay Trail

MALLARD, NORTHERN PIINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, BALD EAGLE, NORTHWESTERN CROW, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, AMERICAN ROBIN, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, FOX SPARROW, BLACK-CAPPED and BOREAL CHICKADEES.

Beluga Lake

NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN PIPITS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, TRUMPETER SWANS, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, VARIED THRUSH.

 

Beluga Slough/Bishop's Beach

SAVANNAH SPARROW, WHIMBREL, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, AMERICAN PIPITS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDHILL CRANES,MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CANADA GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, MEW GULL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, DOWITCHER sp.,AMERICAN ROBIN, BALD EAGLE, NORTHWESTERN CROW, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE.

 

Out on the Bay

COMMON EIDERS, BLACK TURNSTONES, RUDDY TURNSTONES, SURFBIRDS, ALEUTIAN TERNS, ARCTIC TERNS, BRANT, YELLOW-BILLED LOON, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE.

 

Around town

SPRUCE GROUSE out East Skyline Drive. PACIFIC WREN on the Calvin and Coyle Trail.

 

Bay Crest Hill area (overlook coming into Homer)

THREE-TOED WOODPECKER near the Bay Crest Greenhouse. Please let us know if you see this bird!

 

Anchor River

PARASITIC JAEGER, LONG-TAILED JAEGER, WHIMBREL, MARBLED GODWIT,GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREATER SCAUP, COMMON EIDER (~24), BLACK, SURF, and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, AMERICN WIGEON, GREATER SCAUP, HARLEQUIN DUCKS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON MERGANSER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PACIFIC and COMMON LOON, HORNED and RED-NECKED GREBE, PELAGIC CORMORANT,, SANDHIILL CRANE, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, WILSON'S SNIPE, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BONAPARTE'S GULL, MEW, HERRING and GLAUCOUS GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, COMMON MURRE, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, NORTHWESTERN CROW, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN ROBIN, SAVANNAH, SONG and FOX SPARROWS.

 

REPORT SIGHTINGS;

Lani Raymond 399-9477, lani67@alaska.net, or peep@islandsandocean.org

 

 

Kachemak Bay/Homer Festival Bird Report: 5-8-15

(Update: 5-8-15 at 6:00 pm)

BAR-TAILED GODWIT flying back and forth over the spit between Harbor Masters
and Frosty Bear boardwalk about 8:30 am this morning (5-8-15)

EMPEROR GOOSE seen in the Louie's Lagoon and Green Timbers area ~ 4:00 pm.
(was documented with photo)

Updates DAILY on Kachemak Bay Birders' website home page http://kachemakbaybirders.org/

SEEN ON 5-7 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

Mariner Park Lagoon (Lighthouse Village)

WHIMBRELS, BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LEAST SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SANDHILL CRANES, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, FOX SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, AMERICAN ROBIN, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL, MALLARD, BALD EAGLE, COMMON RAVEN. Many hundreds of COMMON MURRE seen out to the west flying in skeins, traveling north, enormous numbers of them!

Mud Bay

MARBLED GODWITS, WHIMBRELS,~2000 WESTERN SANDPIPERS(2/3) and DUNLIN (1/3), LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED SAMDPIPER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS. An interesting observation of some COMMON RAVENS that were down with the sandpipers while they were feeding.

Beluga Lake

NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN PIPITS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, TRUMPETER SWAN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, VARIED THRUSH

Beluga Slough

(Possible, as yet unconfirmed) EURASIAN TEAL. AMERICAN PIPITS, EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDHILL CRANES

Out on the Bay

ALEUTIAN TERNS, ARCTIC TERNS, BRANT, YELLOW-BILLED LOON, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE.

Bay Crest Hill area (overlook coming into Homer)

THREE-TOED WOODPECKER near the Bay Crest Greenhouse.

 

REPORT SIGHTINGS;

Lani Raymond 399-9477, lani67@alaska.net, or peep@islandsandocean.org

 

 

 

Kachemak Bay/Homer Festival Bird Report: 5-7-15

Updates DAILY on Kachemak Bay Birders' website home page http://kachemakbaybirders.org/

 

SEEN ON 5-6 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

Mud Bay/Mariner Park Lagoon (Lighthouse Village)

MARBLED GODWIT, WHIMBRELS, PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS, BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, YELLOWLEGS sp., PEREGRINE FALCON, MERLIN.

 

End of the Spit

WANDERING TATTLERS, RUDDY and BLACK TURNSTONES, SURFBIRDS on the jetty at the Harbor mouth (~600 and a few Turnstones were mixed in with them.)

 

Louie's Lagoon/Green Timbers (mid-spit area)

SURFBIRDS (~500 seen at a different time from those on the Harbor Jetty so could have been the same group. Also both had the Turnstones mixed in with them. WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN, BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, MERLIN.

 

Beluga Slough

WHIMBREL, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPERS, DOWITCHER sp., EURASIAN WIGEON, SANDHILIL CRANES.

 

Anchor Point

Large numbers (many hundreds, maybe a thousand flying by!!) of RED-NECKED PHALAROPE out over the water. SPOTTED SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. Also GADWAL, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, CACKLING GEESE, NORTHERN HARRIER, possible PEREGRINE FALCON, LAPLAND LONGSPURS.

 

Out on the Bay

Possible OSPREY between Gull Is and 60 Foot Rock (4-30). RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. BLACK TURNSTONES on Gull Is and in Eldred Passage (5-5). TUFTED PUFFIN on Gull Island (5-3). Large groups of SURFBIRDS on Gull Island.

 

 

Kachemak Bay/Homer Festival Bird Report: 5-6-15

Updates on Kachemak Bay Birders' website home page http://kachemakbaybirders.org/

 

Mud Bay/Mariner Park Lagoon (Lighthouse Village)

PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS, BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS, DOWITCHER sp., “peeps” (Western, Least, Semipalmated Sandpipers) ~250 on (5-4)

End of the Spit

SURFBIRDS on the jetty at the Harbor mouth (~200 on 5-5)

Beluga Slough

Bishop's Beach (5-4) LEAST SANDPIPERS

Out on the Bay

Possible OSPREY between Gull Is and 60 Foot Rock (4-30). RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. BLACK TURNSTONES on Gull Is and in Eldred Passage (5-5). TUFTED PUFFIN on Gull Island (5-3). Large groups of SURFBIRDS on Gull Island.

In/around town

20 miles out East End Rd: Harlan’s Hawk (Several previous reports in Fernwood area ~7 miles out)

Anchor Point

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (5-5)

 

KACHEMAK BAY BIRDERS’ REGULAR MEETING–DON’T MISS IT!

The Kachemak Bay Birders next monthly meeting will be on Monday, August 25th
at 4:30 pm in the Auditorium at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.
 
Possible Agenda items include World Shorebird Day (Sept 6th), injured bird
response, information on Martin Renner's Ornithology class, the COASST
program, and planning for the year. (Additions to the Agenda can always be
made at the beginning of meetings.)
 
For more information, contact Lani Raymond: lani67@alaska.net, (399-9477).

Migrational Unrest

Cranes in Homer: 8-18-14

 

Nina Faust reports "The colts are fledging and the non-breeding flocks are returning to the area and gathering. Please send reports of flock locations, time, date, number and how many of them were colts. Enjoy them, migration is less than four weeks away. “ Call 235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org

 

The flocks are moving around with migrational unrest, and the families are beginning to join the flocks. Nina said the crane numbers are about the same as last year according to her information. She knows of 11 colts for sure that have now fledged.

 

The expected departure date for the cranes is around September 10-15th. They wait until the pressure and winds are just right then leave in groups, but often some families with late-fledging colts stay a while longer.

 

Check out these interesting videos.

 

Lesser Sandhill Crane Flight Training” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hf8Yzu17o8

Lesser Sandhill Cranes: A Tale of Lynx Stalking” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B09PJsxm3e8&feature=em-share_video_user

 

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mysterywithband.jpg

The Mystery of the Dark, Banded Bird

In early June, David Hanson, a Texas birder, took some photos from inside Spit Sisters of an odd, black bird. He had been on trips up here before and he knew that this was not a usual sighting out on the spit. He showed the photos to several birders who were quite perplexed as to what it was and thus began our quest to discover just what in the heck this bird was?

 

Early on it was suggested that it was only a wet, bedraggled Song Sparrow but the bill seemed wrong and also the size. Gary Lyon measured the shingles in the photo and found that the exposed shingle was 6 inches so the bird was accurately measured at 8-9 inches long. 

 

mysterywithband.jpg

 

The bird had a yellow band on one leg which we thought meant that it had been a caged bird since wild birds are banded also with a metallic band. At one point we thought that a yellow band meant that it was from Peru but later found out that yellow bands mean Peru only if they’re shorebirds.

 

The other clues that it had been a caged bird were that the feathers were rumpled and unkempt and the tail was quite bedraggled. And, according to Martin Renner, that the lower mandible was shorter than the upper one.

 

It was singing so that meant a male no doubt. Unfortunately Dave had been inside the busy, noisy Spit Sisters restaurant when this was happening so he couldn’t hear the song at all.

 

 

mysterysinging.jpg

 

 

We contacted Cornell and they had several folks look at the photos and decided that it was probably a Red-winged Blackbird. This based on the physiology and the fact that they are in Alaska. I wanted to say BUT, IT HAD BEEN CAGED so could have come from anywhere, couldn’t it? Could it be a Melodious Blackbird or Scrub Blackbird, however unlikely?

 

We tried to track down a bona fide Icterid specialist but could not find one. There must be one out there somewhere? And through this time we advertised and promised absolute “unlimited fame” to anyone who would ID this bird with certainty.

 

Recently we discovered an interesting website called WhatBird where you post a photo plus information and lots of folks look and hopefully respond. Our post got over 480 viewings but few useful responses. They suggested possibly Melodious Blackbird which is from Central America but gave no real evidence. What happens on this site is that your post gets buried deeper and deeper if no one responds, so I wrote some little additions to my post and so we’d get back on Page One for a while. I did my best! It was mind boggling, but maybe comforting, to see how many people had birds they couldn’t identify! (Gee, it wasn’t just us!!)

 

So here we are, nearly two months after the original sighting. Our conjecture is that it’s a Red-winged Blackbird. But we will always wonder why it had the yellow band, why someone would have had it in a cage, and whatever happened to it?

 

Maybe “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

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