Kachemak Bay Bird Alert Information: 9-25-15

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Kachemak Bay Bird Alert Information: 9-25-15

Postby lani » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:38 am


A PARAKEET AUKLET was seen off Gore Point on September 16th. That day in the Bay also SOOTY and SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS, HORNED PUFFIN (20), TUFTED PUFFIN (5), the latter two still in summer plumage.
Most of “Homer's” SANDHILL CRANES left on September 12th. During the Kachemak Bay Birders' trip to the Anchor River around 5:15 pm, the group witnessed cranes arriving from all directions, possibly 1500 or more, including the Homer cranes. They flew in low then circled higher and higher, calling. A fantastic sight for those of us who were lucky enough to be there! Family groups, with colts not ready on that date, left a week or so later. The cranes head back to California's Central Valley to the Lodi area, near Sacramento. Many of us have concerns about that area due to the extreme drought and wildfires north of there.
Folks often ask about the cranes that stay in Homer for the summer. Reported this year were 19 nests confirmed, 29 colts hatched, 17 of them fledged. In late August cranes gather in pre-migration flocks and there were 90 or so regularly at the Inspiration Ridge Preserve. When the tide and timing are right, they gather 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. In case there may be some other groups flying though the area, please still report them to reports@cranewatch.org or 235-6262.
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. The latest report of a heron was a week ago and overall this year had by far the most herons reported and they also seemed to be staying longer. A good story: 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 lists the Great Blue Heron as "Rare" and a "visitor". I was told recently about a rookery that used to be in Halibut Cove years ago (but said to have been wiped out by eagles). I am tracking down some historical information of what might have been a rookery there in the 1920's and 1930's. I also had a casual report of young herons this summer (trying to verify that) and in the past some possible nesting behaviors seen on the other side of the Bay—but no nest actually documented. Such interesting birds and it would be interesting to know more about what was there historically and for sure, what is there now.

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. On the 25th four were seen flying east along Miller's Landing. (Possible departure or test flight?)

On the 11th there was a report from Toby Burke and Luke DeCicco of a RED-FOOTED BOOBY seen at the SE entrance to Cook Inlet. (That is, of course, 20 miles from here and probably shouldn't even be in this report, but when else might I ever get to report a booby?)

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 peep@islandsandocean.org . 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!!

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