KACHEMAK BAY BIRD ALERT INFORMATION: September 7, 2015
SANDHILL CRANE Count Days: The Cranewatch folks would like people to volunteer to count cranes one more day, on Sept. 8th between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:00 pm. To submit a report, email firstname.lastname@example.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.
The SANDHILL CRANES are gathering in pre-migration flocks now and when the tide and timing is right, gathering on the beach to load up on high protein worms and other invertebrates down there. 123 cranes were seen on August 29th about a mile east of Miller's Landing. They will be leaving, possibly this week, heading back to California's Central Valley near Sacramento.
A pair of GREAT BLUE HERONS was reported on the Harbor jetty on the 1st and on the beach by Frosty Bear on the 4th. On the 3rd a heron showed up in Nina Faust's field with 90 SANDHILL CRANES! It stayed for about an hour and seemed to be picked on by some of the dominant cranes. Herons do eat voles sometimes so being in a field was not totally crazy! Still quite an unusual sight!
Interesting that the Checklist of Birds of Kachemak Bay list the Great Blue Heron as "Rare" and a "visitor". There has been recent information about a rookery that used to be in Halibut Cove years ago (but apparently wiped out by eagles). And a casual report of young herons this summer and in the past some possible nesting behaviors seen on the other side of the Bay.
After several days of very strong winds, a STELLER'S SEA-EAGLE was reported on August 28th in the upper Beluga Lake area. The bird was observed for quite a while and it was a fifth larger than some other bald eagles (2 adults and one juv.) that were in the area at the time. When the sea-eagle approached them, they all took off immediately and the sea-eagle took their perch area. The sea-eagle was an "intermediate sub-adult" and the bill was very obvious. Also other physical markings were indicative of a sea-eagle. Several other reports came in during this time of a very large im. eagle at Land's End, another report from the float plane area on Beluga Lake and another from the base of the spit. Many people went looking but it was not re-sighted.
An EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (maybe two) was seen at the dune line half-way between the parking lot and the mouth of the Anchor River on August 27th and was possibly there due to the heavy winds just before that time also. Interesting that there was one reported there on the same stretch of beach in August 22, 2011. (Maybe mid to later August a good time to check that stretch for these migrants?)
On August 17th a WARBLING VIREO was seen and photographed out East End Rd on Fernwood St. This is the first sighting of this bird in Homer and the second record for the Kenai Peninsula. (The other was seen in Seward in October, 2013.)
In the past week or so, DOWITCHERS sp., and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS have been seen and heard out on the Spit. There were larger groups of small shorebirds (hundreds) the week of August 20th. Many more jaeger reports than usual this year and recently POMARINE JAEGERS (3) by the mouth of the Anchor River on Aug. 28th and PARASITIC JAEGER on Ocean Drive Loop on Sept. 5th. Many HORNED GREBE in the Bay.
There were four TRUMPETER SWANS seen in Beluga Lake last week, two of them cygnets with their grayish hue. No one reported how many cygnets there had been been originally this year.
Access to bird sightings/rep
Check the SIGHTINGS BOARD on the Kachemak Bay Birders' website for new postings: viewforum.php?f=2
Or the Kenai Peninsula Birding Website http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/kpbi ... s/messages
Or AKBirding: http://birding.aba.org/maillist/AK01
To submit reports
You can email a report of a bird sighting to email@example.com . The PEEP phone line has been discontinued but it is also possible to report birds by posting on Kachemak Bay Birders' website “Bird Sightings” viewforum.php?f=2
Let us know if you want to receive a copy of these reports by email.
It's a Great Day to Bird!!
Report Kachemak Bay area bird sightings by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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