Shorebird Festival Summary (5-12-17)

There were 131 species seen at the Festival this year. This list is on the Kachemak Bay Birders’ website

If there are other species that you are sure were seen during the Festival, please let me know. I did not get many reports of raptors and woodpeckers and some others possibly seen.

A RED KNOT was seen at the end of the Spit by the Harbor and in Mud Bay on.

BAR-TAILED and MARBLED GODWITS were seen in several places on the Spit. (No Hudsonians were seen here during the Festival but were at the Kasilof River.)

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS were seen on the 4th out East End Rd about 6 miles and then again at the Lighthouse Village Platform and in Beluga Slough the next day.

A KING EIDER pair was seen off “the bluff” west of Homer on the 4th. Great photographs posted.

A WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE was seen at the end of the FAA Rd. by the lower platform on the Lake on the 6th.


A THAYER’S GULL was seen at the Lighthouse Village, Green Timbers and a few other places. Also an An ICELAND GULL was seen near Green Timbers on the 6th.

GREAT BLUE HERONS were seen on the 4th near Bishop’s Beach.

CASPIAN TERNS were seen on the 6th in Mud Bay.

An OSPREY was seen near Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach before the Festival and again on the 7th.

There was a report of BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEWS at Anchor Point on the 6th but attempts to refind them were unsuccessful.

Always nice during the Festival to have some swallows back, HERMIT THRUSH, ORANGE-CROWNED and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, terns, and TUFTED PUFFIN. And this year a hummingbird and a flycatcher, too! The Festival means many happy hours being out birding and enjoying the beauty and diversity of all those wonderful birds!  It was a Great Festival to Bird (as our motto tells us)!

View or download the complete festival species checklist:

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival: Checklist of species seen

The 2016 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival took place May 12-15. The attached checklist shows the species seen during the festival- 140 species were seen over the four festival days.

This list has been compiled from the Checklist of Birds of Kachemak Bay (April 2002) with some revisions (April 2005). Like the original checklist, it covers the Anchor River drainage, the watersheds draining into Kachemak Bay including Kachemak Bay State Park and the Bay itself between Anchor Point and Point Pogibshi. It features species and their historical likelihood of occurrence in the spring only, i.e., those birds likely to be seen during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, which has taken place on the first or second weekend of May since 1993.

2016 Shorebird Monitoring Schedule

2016 Homer Spit / Anchor River Shorebird Monitoring Times and Tides

Starting time is based on the quarter hour before the receding tide reaches 15.0 feet, or high tide if it doesn’t reach 15.0 feet using Seldovia tide tables. The tide correction between Seldovia and Homer is only +5 minutes.

Monitoring lasts for two hours.

Starting Seldovia High
Date Time Tide (ft.) Tide Time Tide (ft.)
Saturday, April 16 11:30 AM 14.2 11:36 AM 14.2
Thursday, April 21 4:45 PM 15.5 3:18 PM 17.7
Tuesday, April 26 7:00 PM 15.2 6:17 PM 15.6
Sunday, May 1 10:00 AM 14.0 10:14 AM 14.0
Friday, May 6 5:00 PM 16.0 3:14 PM 20.2
Wednesday, May 11 8:00 AM 15.2 6:15 AM 18.3
Monday, May 16 12:00 PM 13.6 12:05 PM 13.6
Saturday, May 21 5:00 PM 15.0 3:34 PM 17.1
Thursday, May 26 7:30 PM 15.4 6:49 PM 15.8

Starting times taken from:

2016 Kasilof River Shorebird Monitoring Times and Tides

Monitoring is based on when the incoming tide is about half way between low tide and high tide. This corresponds to beginning an hour before the tide at the Kenai River.

Entrance is at +10.0 feet. Monitoring last one and a half hours.

Monitoring  Times Kenai High
Date Start Finish Tide Time Tide (ft.)
Saturday, April 16 1:30 PM 16.1
Thursday, April 21 5:12 PM 19.6
Tuesday, April 26 8:11 PM 17.5
Sunday, May 1 12:08 PM 15.9
Friday, May 6 5:08 PM 22.1
Wednesday, May 11 9:19 PM 18.6
Monday, May 16 1:59 PM 15.5
Saturday, May 21 5:28 PM 19.0
Thursday, May 26 8:43 PM 17.7

Starting times taken from:


2015 Christmas Bird Count results

Summary provided by Dave Erikson:

What a fantastic Christmas Bird Count here in Homer!  There were 66 species seen and three of these species had never been seen before on a Christmas Bird Count:Red-breasted Sapsucker, Anna’s Hummingbird and Ancient Murrelet.  During the Count Week (which is three days before and three days after the Count Day), an additional nine species were found, including a Great Blue Heron and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, both very uncommon on this side of the Bay. Participants, including myself, did their best during the short daylight hours searching hard and long to find the latter two on the Count Day itself, as they had been seen the previous few days and would have been wonderful finds.

Nearly 8000 birds were counted in all. The most numerous species were Rock Sandpipers (2000), Pine Siskin (871), and Black Scoter (845); also hundreds of Mallards, Common Mergansers, Pelagic Cormorants, Common Murre, American Robins, Black-capped Chickadees, Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls. Species of note were six European Starlings, White-throated Sparrow, Townsend’s Solitaire, and—love them or not—there were 13 Ring Necked Pheasants (last year only one could be found).

The weather cooperated and the snow that was predicted thankfully did not fall.  This was a huge help although the heavy clouds meant the day was very short.  A big thank you to over thirty volunteers who participated, plus other feeder watchers.  Thank you to Dave Erikson as coordinator of the Count; this was the 39th consecutive Christmas Bird Count he has coordinated here in Homer! And a big thank you to Islands and Ocean Visitor Center for allowing us to use their wonderful facility.  

Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science project in our nation, and in Homer it is always held on the first Saturday in the window (Dec. 14th to Jan. 5th).

The center of the 15-mile-diameter count circle is the intersection of Kachemak Drive and the Spit Rd. The circle extends east to Fritz Creek, south past the end of the Spit, west to the mouth of Diamond Creek and to the north where there are few roads. We do not go out in boats for our count.

Participants meet at 8:30 am at IOVC for coffee/tea/breakfast foods, get assigned to teams and areas, and then go out to count all the daylight hours. At 4:30 teams return and compile results and enjoy a warm potluck supper.

A few days before the event, Dave Erikson always teaches a class on “Winter Bird Identification”. This class is valuable for new birders as well as being an excellent opportunity for more experienced birders to brush up on what birds are in Homer in the winter.

2015 Shorebird Monitoring report and data

The final version of the 2015 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2015 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area
with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2015 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

2015 Shorebird Monitoring: Final Report
2015 Shorebird Monitoring data


2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Report (final)

The final version of the 2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project report has been completed by George Matz.

This report contains:

1. Report on the spring 2014 ground-based shorebird surveys of the Homer Spit area
with comparisons to surveys from previous years.
2. Spreadsheets of the observation data, by site, for the 2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project.

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