Kachemak Bay Birders


2021 SUMMER BIRDING TRIPS

North Fork Road

Saturday, June 12th

Meet at the parking lot in the Day Use area by the bridge 2 miles in from the Sterling at 7:30 am

Leader: Gary Lyon

 

Anchor River

Saturday, July 17

Meet in the parking lot near the Halibut Cove Campground at 10:00 am

Leaders: Michelle Michaud and Jim Herbert

 

Anchor River

Saturday, August 21

Meet in the parking lot near the Halibut Cove Campground at 3:00 pm

Leaders: Michelle Michaud and Jim Herbert

 

Fishline Cleanup at the Fishing Hole

Saturday, September 11th

Time/details announced later.

 

All trips cosponsored by Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

All trips will comply with FWS covid-safe practices.

 
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

 

 

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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