Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival May 4-8th

FESTIVAL SPECIES TALLY(Almost) Final Report 

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival 2022

A fantastic array of species with all three GODWIT species and RUDDY TURNSTONE here so early.  Nice to see the SNOW GOOSE, CASPIAN TERN, ICELAND GULL, TUNDRA SWAN, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, CANVASBACK, POMARINE and LONG-TAILED JAEGER, and many others.

Fewer than usual songbird species but there were two warblers: YELLOW, ORANGE-CROWNED; two SWALLOW species; a HERMIT THRUSH finally; and SAVANNAH, LINCOLN and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS. Many hawks and falcons: NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, MERLIN, PEREGRINE FALCON.

A total of 129 species were seen at the Festival and of those 27 were shorebird species.  (A couple other reports are being tracked down so possibly one or two more species will be verified.)

The total number of “peeps’ went from a couple hundred to 450 on Friday, 2000 on Saturday and 4000 by Sunday evening!

Error correction: too many COMMON MURRE reported on the 6th: it was 3500, not 35000!  Oops.

The final Festival Species Tally list of these birds will be available on the Kachemak Bay Birders’ website soon, kachemakbaybirders.org.

A big thanks to everyone who turned in reports to eBird or to me.

 

FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: Birds seen May 7th (Saturday)

The following species were first reported on Saturday:

BAIRDS’S SANDPIPER—Anchor River

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT—Gull Is.

GADWALL—Slough

CANVASBACK (2)—Slough

LESSER SCAUP—Slough

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK—Bay Crest Hill

RED-TAILED HAWK—East Skyline

HERMIT THRUSH—Calvin and Coyle

YELLOW WARBLER—Calvin and Coyle

ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER—I.O. Trail (to the Slough), FAA Rd platform

TUNDRA SWAN—Beluga Lake (still working on confirmation of this species)

Nearing the end of this wonderful Shorebird Festival:

*We will remember this Festival for the GODWITS being here nice and early, many RUDDY TURNSTONES, late-arriving warblers (Saturday for the first ones)…

*As of Saturday night, there were 121 total species seen (with a few other reports being tracked down/confirmed)

*There were 26 shorebird species seen.

*The largest flock of “peeps” was 400 at Mud Bay as of  Saturday, but Sunday morning report just now of possibly up to 2000!!!!

 

After Sunday’s reports all get in, the Species Tally Sheet will be posted on the Kachemak Bay Birders’ website, kachemakbaybirders.org. 

Thanks to everyone who have been reporting birds to eBird and to me directly! 

 

FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: Birds seen May 6th (Friday)

One SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER reported at the Anchor River and a COMMON EIDER was seen by folks on the Diamond Creek walk. Other new species seen yesterday were PEREGRINE FALCON on the Spit, ARCTIC TERN on Glacier Spit, YELLOW-BILLED LOON, and TREE SWALLOW.

The largest flock of “peeps” reported thus far was 450 in Mud Bay about 2:00 pm.

Heard a rumor of an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER—the first warbler—but could find no report yet.

Sunshine and clear skies going into Saturday morning.  It’s A Great Day To Bird!!

Mud Bay/Lighthouse Village/Mariner Park:

MARBLED GODWIT, BAR-TAILED GODWIT, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, PACIFIC GOLDEN- PLOVER, WHIIMBREL, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER; WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS; GREATER YELLOWLEGS; SHORT-BILLED and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER; DUNLIN, MERLIN, PEREGRINE FALCON, PACIFIC WREN, SONG SPARROW, SANDHILL CRANE (Nesting pair at Lighthouse Village. Observed Friday night: adult crane stood up and 2 eggs were visible in the nest!)

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon (mid-spit):

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, WHIMBREL, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SURFBIRDS, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, NORTHERN HARRIER, MERLIN, BRANT, PACIFIC LOON, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SAVANNAH SPARROW, TRUMPETER SWAN

End of the Spit (Louie’s Lagoon south):

ROCK SANDPIPER(1), SURFBIRD, MARBLED MURRELET, TUFTED PUFFIN, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, PELAGIC CORMORANT, SONG and SAVANNAH SPARROWS, AMERICAN PIPIT

Anchor River:

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN- PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER, WESTERN, ROCK and LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN, NORTHERN HARRIER, MERLIN; LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, PACIFIC WREN; SONG, FOX and SAVANNAH SPARROWS, SANDHILL CRANE

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach:

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, DUNLIN, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPER; GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS; BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATED WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, FOX and SONG SPARROW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, AMERICAN ROBIN, VARIED THRUSH, SANDHILL CRANES (possibly 2-3 nesting pairs), LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT, NORTHERN HARRIER

Beluga Lake/FAA Rd. Platforms:

WILSON’S SNIPE, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, TRUMPETER SWAN (possible nest), AMERICAN ROBIN, VARIED THRUSH, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, PINE GROSBEAK, SAVANNA SPARROW, BOREAL CHICKADEE

Out on the Bay:

TUFTED PUFFIN, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE,TUFTED PUFFIN, BLACK TURNSTONE, SURFBIRD, MARBLED and KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, COMMON MURRE (est. 35000), HARLEQUIN DUCK, LONG-TAILED DUCK, COMMON LOON, BELTED KINGFISHER, SONG SPARROW, NORTHERN HARRIER

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (on Cohen Island and other locations)

YELLOW-BILLED LOON (near Glacier Spit)

SPRUCE GROUSE (Grewink Lake)

 

Diamond Creek Walk:

COMMON EIDER, WANDERING TATTLER, WESTERN SANDPIPER

Calvin and Coyle Trail:

WILSON’S SNIPE, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, TREE SWALLOW, BOREAL CHICKADEE, VARIED THRUSH, AMERICAN ROBIN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW

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FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: Birds seen May 5th (Thursday)

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival 2022

Several new species seen yesterday included RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, AMERICAN DIPPER (N. Fork Rd.), LINCOLN’S and SAVANNAH SPARROW, SPRUCE GROUSE, ARCTIC TERN.  Size of groups of Westerns and other peeps was estimated to be a couple hundred at the most as of Thursday evening.

 Having all three godwits here and so early has been fantastic and nice to see some sparrows coming.

Mud Bay/Lighthouse Village/Mariner Park:

MARBLED GODWIT, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, PACIFIC GOLDEN- PLOVER, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (unconfirmed), WHIIMBREL, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER, WESTERN, ROCK and LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, DUNLIN, NORTHERN SHOVELER, MERLIN, SONG SPARROW, SANDHILL CRANE (nesting pair at Lighthouse Village)

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon (mid-spit):

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BAR-TAILED GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SURFBIRDSNORTHERN HARRIER, MERLIN, BRANT, PACIFIC LOON, LAPLAND LONGSPUR

Anchor River:

SANDERLING, SURFBIRDWANDERING TATTLER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, BONAPARTE’S GULL, ARCTIC TERN, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT, NORTHERN HARRIER, BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, PACIFIC and RED-THROATED LOON, LINCOLN’S and SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN DIPPER (bridge at Mile 2 North Fork Rd), SPRUCE GROUSE (on Old Sterling Highway, Homer end)

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach:

DUNLIN, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, FOX and SONG SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, SANDHILL CRANES (possibly 2 nesting pairs), LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT

Beluga Lake/FAA Rd. Platforms:

WILSON’S SNIPE, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, TRUMPETER SWAN (possible nest), AMERICAN ROBIN, PINE GROSBEAK, SAVANNA SPARROW, BOREAL CHICKADEE

Out on the Bay:

Gull Island: TUFTED PUFFIN (24), BLACK TURNSTONE, SURFBIRD, MARBLED and KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, COMMON MURRE (est. 35000), HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON LOON,

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (on Cohen Is.), RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (4th)

 

 

FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: Birds seen May 4th

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival 2022

After a slow start to spring here in Homer, the number of shorebird species that have arrived in the last couple days is quite amazing!  I don’t remember having all three godwits here on the first day ever before, for example, and sanderlings so early also.

Mud Bay/Lighthouse Village/Mariner Park:

MARBLED GODWIT, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, PACIFIC GOLDEN- PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER, WESTERN, ROCK and LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, DUNLIN, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, MERLIN, RED-THROATED LOON

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon (mid-spit):

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BAR-TAILED GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SURFBIRDS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, ALEUTIAN TERN, NORTHERN HARRIER, MERLIN, BRANT, PACIFIC LOON, LAPLAND LONGSPUR

Anchor River:

MARBLED GODWIT, SANDERLING, WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK-BELLEID PLOVER, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPERS, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, SNOW GOOSE (150 at 10 am), BONAPARTE’S GULLICELAND GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach:

DUNLIN, WESTERN and LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, BRANT, FOX and SONG SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, SANDHILL CRANES, EURASIAN x AMERICAN WIGEON (hybrid)

Beluga Lake/FAA Rd. Platforms:

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, WILSON’S SNIPE, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, TRUMPETER SWAN, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (14), AMERICAN ROBIN, PINE GROSBEAK

Out on the Bay:

TUFTED PUFFIN (5), BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (on Cohen Is.), ROCK SANDPIPER, COMMON MURRE

East End Rd/in town/etc.:

NORTHERN HARRIER, NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW

 

PRE-FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT (May 1st-May 3rd)

SHOREBIRDS

BAR-TAILED GODWIT –Beluga Slough (May 1st)

MARBLED GODWIT—Anchor River, Spit (May 1st)

WANDERING TATTLER—Anchor River

BLACK TURNSTONE—Anchor River

WHIMBREL—Anchor River

PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER—Spit, Anchor River, Slough

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER—Anchor River

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER—Spit, Slough

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER—Spit

WESTERN SANDPIPER—Spit

LEAST SANDPIPER–Spit

DUNLIN—Spit

GREATER YELLOWLEGS—many locations

LESSER YELLOWLEGS—Anchor River, Beluga Lake

WILSON’S SNIPE—winnowing heard from many locations

OTHER BIRDS OF NOTE:

CASPIAN TERN—Green Timbers and Mud Bay (May 3rd)

SWALLOW sp.—Slough (May 3rd)

RED-TAILED HAWK–8 miles East End Rd. (3rd)

SHORT-EARED OWL—Slough (3rd)

BRANT—Slough

TUNDRA SWAN—Anchor River

NORTHERN HARRIER—Slough

SAVANNAH SPARROW—Slough

LAPLAND LONGSPUR–Slough

SANDHILL CRANES, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, CACKLING GEESE—many locations

********

 

TRIP REPORT (4-23-22) Out on the Bay with Karl Stoltzfus (Bay Excursions)

A boatload of very lucky Kachemak Bay Birders went out on the bay this morning with Karl Stoltzfus (Bay Excursions) and enjoyed a wonderful birding trip plus a few mammals also. A huge thank you to Karl for an enjoyable boat ride and a fantastic array of 22 species! We went up along the west side of the spit and then over to Gull Island, 60-Mile Rock, and to Glacier Spit.
 
Species seen were:
COMMON LOON, HORNED GREBE, RED-NECKED GREBE, PELAGIC CORMORANT, CANADA GOOSE (fly over), BLACK SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, SURF SCOTER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, LONG-TAILED DUCK, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, SHORT-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (est. ~1000), PIGEON GUILLEMOT, MURRELET sp., COMMON MURRE (est. ~800), BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (6), BALD EAGLE, AMERICAN CROW, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, SONG SPARROW. 
 
The grande finale were two humpback whales which we enjoyed for several minutes when we were returning to the harbor. And, maybe of interest…we noticed two otters that were hauled out on rocks–speculation whether they might have been giving birth?  (Yes I know this is a bird report…)
 
What a fantastic trip and everyone was happy to get to talk to other birders, some of whom hadn’t seen each other for a couple years.  As always, It Was A Great Day To Bird!!  As our motto says. 
 
Thank you, Karl, we love your trips!!
 
black oystercatcher (Tim Quinn)
pelagic cormorants (Tim Quinn)
humpback whale (Tim Quinn)

 

LINK TO PAST PRESENTATION

“Shorebird Identification”, Aaron Lang, local birder and owner of Wilderness Birding Adventures in Homer.

This Zoom presentation will cover all the shorebirds we are likely to see in the coming migration–and a few like the red knot and bristle-thighed curlew that we are always hoping to see in the coming migration!  Aaron has excellent photos and narrative which provide information about physical characteristics, voice, behavior and habitat.  His presentation could be an introduction to shorebirds or a review to brush up.  Enjoy the beautiful, instructive photos.

Aaron’s presentation was recorded; watch below:

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

**PRESENTATIONS/Meetings (via Zoom) + Other Activities

 

April 14th to May 24th Shorebird Monitoring

Monitoring every five days on a 15′ falling tide.  Contact George Matz for more information or to volunteer: 907-235-9344

 

**April 25thDeformed Bills (Pre-recorded)

Beak deformities (Avian Keratin Disorder) “Unraveling the mystery of avian keratin disorder in Alaska and beyond” by Danielle Gerik.

Danielle Gerik shares recent results of efforts to track AKD across the globe and discuss which species might be most vulnerable. She also provides updates on a newly discovered virus that’s strongly associated with the occurrence of AKD in Black-capped Chickadees in Alaska. (AKD is an outbreak of debilitating beak deformities affecting wild birds. First observed among Black-capped Chickadees in Alaska in the early 1990s it now appears to affect a variety of species across a broad geographic area.)

 

May 4-8th  Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival (30th Annual)

You can register now!  Website: Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival | 30th Annual, May 4 – 8, 2022 (kachemakshorebird.org)

 

**May 23rdBird fossils in Alaska (Pre-recorded; check back later for link)

“90 Million Years of Birds in Alaska”, Dr. Patrick Druckenmiller, Director of UAF Museum and Professor of Geology

“In this presentation, paleontologist Dr. Patrick Druckenmiller will present a brief overview of the fossil record of birds in Alaska, which spans at least 90 million years. Beginning with the Cretaceous Period when birds co-existed with their dinosaurian ancestors, Pat will follow their fossil history up to the present as revealed through footprints, bones and teeth from across the state.”

All meetings and activities are cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

 

LINKS TO OTHER PAST PRESENTATIONS

*Dr. Ruthrauff, Wildlife Biologist at USGS “Coping with the Cold: The Unusual Occurrence of Rock Sandpipers in Cook Inlet” as part of UAA’s biology seminar series. Zoom link: https://www.facebook.com/brandon.briggs.1656/videos/262462175741524v

 

*”Birding On Adak” by Jim Herbert (1-31-22) 

Michelle Michaud’s Blog including Adak photos https://alaskabirder.com/author/alaskabirder/

 

 

Kachemak Bay Birders

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2021

 
The Christmas Bird Count on the 18th was wonderful! We all appreciated the much warmer temperatures and all te volunteers who came out to help. Some sunshine peeked through the cloud cover during the day and no precipitation fell, thankfully.  
 
(update 12-23-21) Count Day total was 71 with one new species never seen before on the count: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.  There were also 2 additional species seen during Count Week: SNOW BUNTING and NORTHERN HARRIER.  
 
Some wonderful birds found: BRAMBLING, NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, STELLER’S and COMMON EIDERS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW…  Also happy we found: VARIED THRUSH (1), ROBIN (1), AMERICAN TREE SPARROW (3), DUNLIN(1).  The only MALLARDS, all 160 of them, were found when team members snowshoed over to the mouth of Fritz Creek–some concern this would be a year without any mallards. 
 
Dave will be sending his synthesis and analysis of the numbers.  Amazing that after all the cold weather and snow leading up to the Christmas Bird Count that we still found such a high number of species (only two other years, 2019 and 2020 have we gotten higher).  A big thanks to all the volunteers who helped go out to count and to feeder watchers–plus the rest of you keeping well-supplied feeders out there–and to Dave for his leadership and number crunching recently!
 
 
AWARD FOR DAVE ERIKSON’S 45th YEAR
After the Count, Jim Herbert and Tim Quinn went to see Dave Erikson, who had just completed his 45th consecutive year of Coordinating/Compiling the Homer Christmas Bird Count!  We Kachemak Bay Birders presented Dave with a certificate to thank him and celebrate this achievement.  National Audubon had written a letter commending him for all those years of service and the excellently well-organized Christmas Bird Counts that we have had here all these years.  There was a little bottle of wine also, to help him celebrate.
We birders, of course, wish that we could have had our traditional after-Count potluck dinner and could have presented him with a big cake and in-person congratulations, unfortunately that could not happen due to covid.  But we all thank him very sincerely and deeply appreciate all these years of service. 

 

Dave Erikson and Jim Herbert celebrating Dave’s 45th year as our CBC Coordinator and Compiler. (photo: Tim Quinn)

 

Northern Flicker Photo by Suzanne Singer
Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker Photo by Suzanne Greenwood

 

 

 

 

Alaska Bird Conference: November 15-19th

“About this event

Homer is excited to host the virtual 19th Alaska Bird Conference.  Every two years researchers, managers, educators, and community members convene to report on all aspects of bird biology, management and conservation in Alaska. The conference has a strong focus on education and mentoring and building collaborative relationships.

At this year’s conference there will be three days of research talks, guest science speakers, workshops and an afternoon poster session. John Marzluff, Patrick Druckenmiller and Erin Ranney will be joining as this year’s Conference Keynote Speakers. Pre-conference meetings will be held Monday, November 15th. COVID pending, optional local field trips will be on November 19th.”

Sponsored by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

For more information and/or to register: https://www.alaskabirdconference.org/

 

Project FeederWatch: November 13-end of April

Find out how you can participate in this important citizen science project.  Easy and fun.  Warm and comfortable inside your house!  Check out  https://feederwatch.org/about/project-overview/  to get the details and sign up.

 

Christmas Bird Count in Homer: December 18th

Dave Erikson will soon be providing information about our count here in Homer.  This information will go to members and will be posted here.

For general information go to https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count

 

Great Backyard Bird Count: February 18-21st

Information at https://www.birdcount.org/participate/

 

 

 

CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS 2021-2022

PROJECT FEEDERWATCH

November 13th to the end of April

https://feederwatch.org/about/

 

AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT (Homer)

December 18th

Coordinator/Compiler: Dave Erickson

https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

 

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

February 18-21st

https://www.birdcount.org/

 

SHOREBIRD MONITORING (Kachemak Bay)

Mid-April through most of May

Project Leader: George Matz

 

KACHEMAK CRANE WATCH (A Project of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies)

Sightings reported April-Sept and Crane Count Days end of August/early September

http://cranewatch.org/

 

COASST

Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team

Year round monitoring for beached birds and beach health

https://coasst.org/

 

 

 

NOTE: see below for  other Trip Reports

2021 SUMMER BIRDING TRIPS 

Fishing Hole Cleanup, Sept. 11th
Kachemak Bay Birders scoured monofilament from around the Fishing Hole out on the Spit on September 11th.  A goodly pile was accumulated and photographed–the pile also included fishline that had been left in the white receptacle. All the fishline will be turned in to the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies to be recycled.  The group also picked up trash in the area.
 
It was a beautiful, sunny fall day and volunteers enjoyed getting together to visit safely outside as well as knowing they were cleaning up and especially helping prevent birds from getting entangled. Fishline is a hazard to birds and many get entangled.  Most of us who do the COASST program (Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team) have found dead birds entangled in fishline. So sad to see because it’s preventable!
 
A big thanks to Jim Herbert, the Leader for this event, and to everyone who participated.
 
And if anyone would want to pick up some more fish line or missed this event, you can just put what you get into the receptacle there at the Fishing Hole (looks like a big white periscope).  Lani will pick up what’s in there one more time before winter.  Another area to pick up would be at Land’s End as many folks have fished there, too.
 
Fishline collected at the Fishing Hole, Sept. 2021

All trips cosponsored by Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

All trips will comply with FWS covid-safe practices.

 

FROM KACHEMAK CRANE WATCH…

Saturday – August 28, 2021 – Crane Count – Day Two

Saturday—September 4, 2021—Crane Count—Day Three

Citizen Scientists needed for special Sandhill Crane population survey in the Homer area (Anchor Point South).  Kachemak Crane Watch would like to know of specific crane sightings on August 28 and September 4.  Please report the number of adults, colts, or banded cranes seen by location, time, and day for each count day, and your name and contact information to reports@cranewatch.org or by calling 907-235-6262.  For more information, contact Nina Faust at 235-6262.

For a special experience, join us at Beluga Slough at the end of the gravel trail for the evening crane fly-in from 6 pm till sundown on each of the remaining Saturdays. Please wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot physical distance from others.

 

TRIP REPORT: Anchor River (8-21-21)
It was a great day to bird!
Eight Kachemak Bay Birders enjoyed the trip to the Anchor River on the 21st. Unlike the previous day with high winds, it turned out to be a sunny day with calm winds.  Not too many shorebird species were found, but they saw a total of 25 species.  A big thank you to Michelle Michaud and Jim Herbert, the trip leaders.  
 
Species observed:
Pelagic Cormorant 
Mallard
Harlequin Duck
White-winged Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-necked Grebe
Pacific Golden-Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
Marbled Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Black-legged Kittiwake 
Short-billed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull 
 Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Sooty Shearwater 
Short-tailed Shearwater
 Bald Eagle
American Crow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
 
 
 
TRIP REPORT:  Anchor River (7-17-21)
 
There were 22 birders in all.  And the parking lots were full at the side of the road. An estimate of 50 boat trailers on the beach–two rows of trailers.  Lucky for them the tide wasn’t too high.  The weather was perfect. 

Here is a list of all the birds seen by the group:
Common Merganser
Common Goldeneye
Whimbrel
Black Turnstone
Sanderling
Rock Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Mew Gull
Herring Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Aleutian Tern
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Bald Eagle
Northwestern Crow
Bank Swallow
Savannah Sparrow
Hermit Thrush
(Not a whole lot on the ocean)  
 
Big thanks to the trip leaders, Michelle Michaud and Jim Herbert. 
 
Two things we birders know:
1. The Anchor never disappoints!
2. It’s (always) a Great Day to Bird!!

**TRIP REPORT FROM GARY LYON—6/12/21

Anchor River—South Fork (Northfork Rd by the bridge 2 miles in from the intersection)

15 souls met at the Casey Wise bridge pullout at 7:30 am. We either saw or heard 24

species and had good weather with calm wind and

partial clouds/sun. Our best bird was a Blackpoll Warbler that was ID’d

by voice only. Both Jim Herbert and Michelle Michaud came along, as co-leader and eBird recorder, respectively. We concluded

at 10:00am. A very good morning to bird!

 

Species reported to eBird:

2 Mallard

1 Common Merganser

3 Wilson’s Snipe

1 Bald Eagle

2 Belted Kingfisher

3 Alder Flycatcher

2 Black-billed Magpie

2 Black-capped Chickadee

2 Tree Swallow

1 Violet-green Swallow

2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

2 American Dipper

5 Hermit Thrush

1 American Robin

1 Fox Sparrow

1 Dark-eyed Junco

4 Golden-crowned Sparrow

4 Lincoln’s Sparrow

2 Northern Waterthrush

4 Orange-crowned Warbler

2 Yellow Warbler

1 Blackpoll Warbler

2 Yellow-rumped Warbler

2 Wilson’s Warbler

Number of Taxa: 24

 

 
DUNLIN in Mud Bay
(Michelle Michaud)
Short-eared Owl at Green Timbers (Tim Quinn)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL BIRD REPORTS

Festival Bird Report: 5-9-21 + ADDITION

So many great, wonderful birds were here for the Festival! The beautiful SNOW GEESE especially were seen for so many days in so many locations. 

A total of 142 species were reported during the Festival this year.  Attached is a copy of the Species List for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

The following new species were seen on the 9th unless otherwise noted…

*LITTLE STINT–Anchor River on the 7th

Sorry I missed this very interesting bird seen by David Sonneborn!  Posted on AKBirding.

*SPOTTED SANDPIPER—Anchor Point

*SOLITARY SANDPIPER—Peterson Bay

*COMMON EIDER—SW of the Spit

*KITTLITZ’S MURRELET—Glacier Spit

*AMERICAN DIPPER—North Fork Rd bridge (Anchor Point) on the 7th

*ALEUTIAN TERN—Green Timbers

*ICELAND GULL (THAYER’S)—Anchor Point

 

In addition, the following hybrids were also reported during the Festival:

*WHITE-CROWNED X GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (hybrid)—Old Town

*EURASIAN X AMERICAN WIGEON (hybrid)—Beluga Slough

*HERRING X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (hybrid)—Louie’s Lagoon

 

Festival Bird UPDATE: 5-8-21

This is just an UPDATE. More later today including reports from some of the longer boat rides and what they saw out there. As of tonight there have been 132 species reported!

New species reported Saturday unless otherwise noted:

*BAIRD’S SANDPIPER—Beluga Slough and Lake, Green Timbers

*SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER—Beluga Slough, Green Timbers

*SANDERLING—Anchor Point

*AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER—Mud Bay

*ROCK SANDPIPER—60’ Rock (Thurs.)

*EMPEROR GOOSE—Anchor Point

*OSPREY—Anchor Point

*COMMON EIDER—SW of the Spit

*RING-NECKED DUCK—Beluga Lake

*REDHEAD—Beluga Lake

*RED-THROATED LOON—Mud Bay

*COMMON REDPOLL—Green Timbers

*HORNED LARK—Green Timbers

*GREAT BLUE HERON—on 60’ Rock (Fri.) and at the head of Beluga Lake Saturday morning

*GLAUCOUS GULL—Anchor Point (Fri.)

 

Interesting numbers from Karl Stoltzfus:

“Today this afternoon May 8 we saw About 500 Surfbirds, 50 Black Turnstones and 3 Rock Sandpipers on 60’ Rock. Close to 1000 Surfbirds in various flocks and 4 Black Oystercatchers on Cohen Island. On the morning trip about 200 Surfbirds and 1 Black Turnstone on Gull Island. About 500 Red-necked Phalaropes on the bay.”

 

FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: 5-7-21

*At 11:00 am there was a huge flock of possibly “tens of thousands” of shorebirds reported in Mud Bay.  Many apparently didn’t stick around very long, and soon reports came in of smaller flocks flying off to the north. Shorebirds included WESTERN SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, DUNLIN and plovers.

*Note: there were WANDERING TATTLERS seen but not reported on May 5th in the Harbor area. 

*There is a RUFUS HUMMINGBIRD in a greenhouse near the base of the spit.  It’s been there for a few days.

*There is a photo on Facebook of a GREAT BLUE HERON on Gull Island and 60’ Rock, but no report as such…date?

New species reported on the 7th include: SANDERLING, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, HORNED PUFFIN, PACIFIC LOON, RED CROSSBILL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, EURASIAN WIGEON, SPRUCE GROUSE, AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN HARRIER

Anchor River

SANDERLING, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, WANDERING TATTLER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, WHIMBREL, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, DUNLIN, LEAST SANDPIPER, GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER,

ARCTIC TERN, BONAPARTE’S GULL, HERRING GULL, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, CANVASBACK, BELTED KINGFISHER, SNOW GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, AMERICAN PIPIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, NORTHERN HARRIER

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach

PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SURFBIRD, GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, WILSON’S SNIPE,

EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, CACKLING GOOSE, BONAPARTE’S GULL, SANDHILL CRANE, RED CROSSBILL, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, PACIFIC WREN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, PINE SISKIN, MERLIN

Beluga Lake/FAA Rd. Platform area

PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, GR/LESS YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN

TRUMPETER SWAN, CANVASBACK, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, BELTED KINGFISHER, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, VARIED THRUSH, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL

Mud Bay

MARBLED GODWIT (6), PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (6), WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, SHORT/LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER (“tens of thousands” at 11 am”)

SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN PIPIT, BELTED KINGFISHER, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, MERLIN

Spit: Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon

PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER (3200 at 3:45 pm), LEAST SANDPIPER (50), DUNLIN (800), SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER,

SNOW GOOSE, BRANT (17), LAPLAND LONGSPUR

Out on the Bay

Gull Island:

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, WANDERING TATTLER, HORNED PUFFIN, TUFTED PUFFIN, COMMON MURRE (est. 8000), BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE ((est. 4000), MARBLED MURRELETS, SURFBIRD, LONG-TAILED DUCK, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, HARLEQUIN DUCK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BRANT, MARBLED MURRELET

China Poot area:

COMMON LOON, GREATER SCAUP, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PIGEON GUILLIMOT, BELTED KINGFISHER, SONG SPARROW

Glacier Spit:

RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE (13), WHIMBREL, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, PACIFIC LOON, ARCTIC TERN, MARBLED MURRELET, GADWALL, BRANT

Calvin and Coyle Trail

WILSON’S SNIPE, AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, RED CROSSBILL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, VARIED THRUSH, BROWN CREEPER, PACIFIC WREN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BOREAL CHICKADEE, PINE SISKIN, GOLD-/RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, SANDHILL CRANE

Baycrest Trails

SPRUCE GROUSE, LINCOLN SPARROW, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO

 

SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: 5-6-21

New arrivals: PECTORAL SANDPIPER, TUFTED PUFFINS, SHORT-EARED OWL, WILSON’S WARBLER, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, TREE SWALLOW, PEREGRINE FALCON, GADWALL, CANVASBACK, RED-TAILED HAWK, WANDERING TATTLER (oops, missed this one, first seen on Wednesday)

NOTE: To check out the ebird reports for birds seen within 30 miles of Homer within the last 14 days, go to the Kachemak Bay Birders’ website kachemakbaybirders.org and find the “eBird Sightings Map” in the right-hand column.  To sort the sightings by date, just click “date” to see the most recent sightings at the top. 

Anchor River

RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, WHIMBREL, DUNLIN, LEAST SANDPIPER, GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, GADWALL, CANVASBACK, RED-TAILED HAWK, PEREGRINE FALCON, NORTHERN HARRIER, TREE SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach

PECTORAL SANDPIPER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, WILSON’S SNIPE, CACKLING GOOSE, SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, PACIFIC WREN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, PINE SISKIN, MERLIN

Islands and Ocean Visitor Center Trail

LEAST SANDPIPER, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN HARRIER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, PACIFIC WREN, SONG SPARROW, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET

Beluga Lake

TRUMPETER SWAN

Mud Bay

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, WHIMBREL, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-EARED OWL,PARASITIC JAEGER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN PIPIT, BELTED KINGFISHER, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW

Spit: Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BAR-TAILED GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SHORT-EARED OWL, SNOW GOOSE, BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, MERLIN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT

Out on the Bay

TUFTED PUFFIN, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BLACK TURNSTONE, MARBLED MURRELETS, SURFBIRD, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, LONG-TAILED DUCK, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, HARLEQUIN DUCK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Calvin and Coyle Trail

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, VARIED THRUSH, BROWN CREEPER, PACIFIC WREN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BOREAL CHICKADEE, CRANE.

Seaside Farm (private)

WHIMBREL, WILSON’S SNIPE, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, WILSON’S WARBLER, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, PINE GROSBEAK, PINE SISKIN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW

 

SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT: 5-5-21

These birds seen on the 5th and include reports from the Kachemak Bay Birders’ Shorebird Monitoring that morning as posted on eBird.

Interesting that there was a pair of SNOW GEESE that flew over most of the monitoring areas!  So beautiful to see them in the sunshine, and most of us did get to see them. And nice to have a RUDDY TURNSTONE since it’s the Festival’s featured bird this year! Seen in Mud Bay and at Gull Island. The highest number of WESTERN SANDPIPERS so far reported was 500 at Green Timbers on the 4th.

Anchor River

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BLACK TURNSTONE, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER/LESSER YELLOWLEG, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, WHIMBREL, SNOW GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, CASPIAN TERN, ARCTIC TERN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, AMERICAN PIPIT

Beluga Slough/Bishop’s Beach

GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER (120), WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, SNOW GOOSE (2), BRANT, CACKLING GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, SANDHILL CRANE, HERMIT THRUSH, PACIFIC WREN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT, SONG SPARROW

Mud Bay

RUDDY TURNSTONE (2), HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, WHIMBREL, WESTERN SANDPIPER (350), LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, CASPIAN TERN, ARCTIC TERN, BONAPARTE’S GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SAVANNAH SPARROW, AMERICAN PIPIT, BELTED KINGFISHER, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, MERLIN

Spit: Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon/Harbor Area

PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BANK SWALLOW, ARCTIC TERN, SNOW GOOSE, BRANT, MERLIN, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, AMERICAN PIPIT

Out on the Bay

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, SURFBIRD

 

PRE-SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL BIRD REPORT

May 3rd and 4th

Anchor River

HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BLACK TURNSTONE, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER/LESSER YELLOWLEG, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, DOWITCHER sp, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SNOW GOOSE, PARASITIC JAEGER, ARCTIC TERN, CACKLING GOOSE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, BELTED KINGFISHER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Beluga Lake

CANVASBACK, GADWALL, AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER, TRUMPETER SWAN, WILSON’S SNIPE

Beluga Slough

GR/LESSER YELLOWLEGS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, LEAST SANDPIPER, DOWITCHER sp, WESTERN SANDPIPER, OSPREY, BONAPARTE’S GULL, EU x AM WIGEON hybrid, SAVANNAH SPARROW, NORTHERN HARRIER

Mud Bay

BAR-TAILED GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, WHIMBREL, WESTERN SANDPIPER, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, BONAPARTE’S GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR

Spit

BAR-TAILED GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, SURFBIRD, PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, BRANT, MARBLED MURRELET

Out on the Bay

SURFBIRD, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, KITTLITZ’S MURRELET, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BELTED KINGFISHER

 

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Photo by Tim Quinn
 
REPORT SANDHILL CRANES
Nina Faust wanted me to remind everyone that if you see cranes to be sure to report them. Send an email toreports@cranewatch.org or call 907-235-6262.Date, time, location, behavior and number of cranes is important.  Leave your name and contact information in case they need more details.
 
A few cranes have been seen as of April 18th.  George West’s “Average Earliest Arrival Date” for them is April 19th.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 29th  AARON LANG PRESENTED “SHOREBIRD IDENTIFICATION” on Zoom


(The Shorebird ID presentation was recorded; watch below)

 

 

April 15-May 25thSHOREBIRD MONITORING.  (Nine sessions, 2 hours each, scheduled for an outgoing 15’ tide.)  Contact George Matz if you are interested in volunteering, geomatz41@gmail.com

May 6th-9thSHOREBIRD FESTIVAL.  Shorebird Committee reports this will be a “hybrid” combination of in-person and virtual events.  Check out their website for information: kachemakshorebird.org . Registration is now open! 

**Note: Regular meetings and birding trips have been cancelled since March, 2020.

Photos by George Harbeson, Jr. Mud Bay and Lower Platform, 2020.
Semipalmated Plovers. Photo by Tim Quinn, 2020

 

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

FEBRUARY  12-14

WHAT IS IT?

“The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.”  (Audubon website)

HOW TO GET STARTED?

Go to the GBBC website, https://www.birdcount.org/participate/

Project Goal

“Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

What’s New in 2021?

In 2020 we designed a new website to help make your 4-day count easy, clear, and inspiring! In an effort to spread the love of birdwatching even further… we use pictures of birds and people from around the world participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. No matter what corner of the world you live-in or visit, we want to share in your joy of birdwatching.” (Great Backyard Bird Count website.)

Covid Precautions

Birding is a safe and enjoyable activity even during the pandemic.  Strongly suggest safely distanced and wearing a mask if birding with others.

Great Backyard Bird Count results from 2020:

268,674 Estimated Participants

27,270,156 Total Birds Counted

6,942 Species of Birds Identified

194 Countries

The GBBC is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Birds Canada


SPRING PHOTOS BY MEMBERS

sandhill crane colt (chick)
Beluga Slough, 6-21-20
photo by Megan O’Neill
spotted sandpiper chick
North Fk Rd, 6-30-20
photo by Tim Quinn
semipalmated plover eggs
Homer spit, 6-24-20
photo by Tim Quinn
fox sparrow chicks
Homer, 6-28-20
photo by Megan O’Neill
savanna sparrow with a full mouth
Wynn Center, 6-30-20
photo by George Harbeson
spruce grouse
Wynn Center, 6-30-20
photo by George Harbeson
 

Baby (Colt) Crane Sightings

After 30 days of incubation, Sandhill Crane eggs hatch.   Tiny, precocious crane chicks or colts should begin appearing any day around Homer.   Crane colts and other baby wildlife are very vulnerable, so please keep your dogs on leash and cats home.  

As part of its Citizen Science projects, Kachemak Crane Watch keeps track of nesting success and wants your observations of Sandhill Crane colts. Send your report to Kachemak Crane Watch at reports@cranewatch.org or call 235-6262.  Include date, time, location, number of colts, and your contact information so we can call for more information.

For more information contact: Nina Faust at 235-6262 or reports@cranewatch.org