KACHEMAK BAY BIRDERS

Meeting on May 20th has been cancelled! 

New date announced soon.

 

*UPCOMING TRIPS/Events

Birding Trip to the North Fork: 5-25-24

The Kachemak Bay Birders’ next trip will be to the North Fork Road on Saturday, May 25th.  Meet in the parking lot at the AMNWR Headquarters parking lot (was  Islands and Ocean Visitor Center)  at 6:15 am to car pool or at 7:00 am at the bridge pull-out area on the North Fork Road about 2 miles in from the Homer (south) end of the loop The leaders for this trip are Kristine Sowl and Sabine Simmons.  For more information contact Kristine, ksowl2000@outlook.com.      

The North Fork has excellent birding for songbirds this time of the year.  In past years we’ve found many warblers including NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, flycatchers including the WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, many sparrows and other great birds including AMERICAN DIPPERS nesting under the bridge.  An incredible array of birds to be found in that area!

Most of the walking during the trip is along the road, but some mud might be encountered off-road and sometimes there are mosquitoes.  Bring binoculars, field guide/apps, and a scope if you have them. 

 

All Kachemak Bay Birding trips are cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. All trips are free and everyone is welcome to attend. Masks encouraged and all trips will comply with FWS covid-safe practices.
 

*MEETINGS/PRESENTATIONS

Monday, May 20th new date will be posted soon
at 5:30 pm. Short business meeting then “Slides” by members
will be held at AMNWR Headquarters (formerly known as the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center) in the Seminar Room.  Following a very short business meeting, members can share 5-10 photos of recent birding trips or interesting birds they’ve encountered. You can bring your photos on a drive or send ahead to Jason (jason@taiga.com).
 
Note: this will be our last meeting until August; however, we will be having scheduled birding trips through the summer. Announcements will be sent and you can check here on our website.
 

Meetings at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, (formerly:Islands and Ocean Visitor Center), begin at 5:30 pm (unless otherwise indicated). All meetings and events are cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Masks encouraged and all trips will comply with FWS covid-safe practices.

 

**Link to previous Presentation**

December 4th Presentation by Aaron Lang: “Birding in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” was recorded and the link is on the Friends of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges website:

https://alaskarefugefriends.org/category/events/special-events/

 

2024 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival:

 Species Tally

FINAL REPORT including species seen on May 12th.

I missed the report of a HOODED MERGANSER on the 12th!  So there were 142 species seen during the Festival, close to the highest number seen (143 species in 2021). The Checklist of these species is now complete and will be posted HERE soon.

Species seen on the 12th

HOODED MERGANSER– Beluga Lake

CASPIAN TERN—Beluga Slough

SNOW GOOSE–Land’s End

SPOTTED SANDPIPER—Beluga Slough

RED-TAILED HAWK—Swift Ck (upper end of the Bay)

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK—Crittenden St. area

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER—Diamond Creek Gulch trail

BLUE-WINGED X CINNAMON TEAL (hybrid)—Anchor River

 

 

UPDATE: Species seen on Saturday (May 11th)

Many species are here and as of very early Sunday morning, approximately 130 species have been seen during the Festival time. 

Saturday a EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE was seen with a group of ROCK PIGEONS in the Crittenden St. area. (west of Islands and Ocean, near Ocean Shores Motel) It is an Accidental “introduced” species here.  

 

Updates

ALEUTIAN TERN—Anchor River (11th)

HORNED LARK—Anchor River (11th)

CANVASBACK—Beluga Lake (11th)

EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE—Crittenden St (11th)—near Ocean Shore’s Motel

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER—several sightings here in on this side of the bay, latest at the Fishing Hole. (11th)

RED CROSSBILLS—large flock of 64 seen out East End Rd, about 8 miles

 

 

UPDATE: Species seen Friday (May 10th) and Saturday morning

Many species here and good sightings for many folks.  One person reported a group of 21 WHIMBRELS with one MARBLED GODWIT in Mud Bay.  Also was a good study in comparison of the two species, there right together besides a wonderful sighting!

The total species seen so far (as of Friday night) is 127, of which 26 are shorebirds!  The highest count I’ve heard of for “peeps” in Mud Bay was ~7000 on Thursday.

A “Storm Wigeon” was seen and photographed on Friday.  This is a color morph of an AMERICAN WIGEON—has white on the head and quite striking. Wonder how rare that color morph is?

 

Updates

BLUE-WINGED TEAL— Beluga Slough

RED KNOT–spit

HUDSONIAN GODWIT—Anchor River,

MARBLED GODWIT—Anchor River

PARASITIC JAEGER—Anchor River

POMARAINE JAEGER-Chinitna Bay

RUSTY BLACKBIRD—Beluga Lake (platform area)

RED-FACED CORMORANT—Halibut Cove

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER—just north of Bishop’s Beach (unusual to be on this side)

GREAT HORNED OWL–town

 

Species seen Thursday (May 9th)

The RED KNOT is still here—seen morning of the 10th at Louie’s Lagoon. The BLUE-WINGED TEAL is still here also.

Note interesting sighting on Wednesday: 2-3000 SURFBIRDS on Gull Island. From Martin Renner: “Under the Ramsar Convention, a site qualifies if it regularly hosts 1% of a wetland species. So if there are really as many as 70 000 surfbirds (seems high), a flock of 700 would qualify. 2-3000 — that could possibly be the largest flock ever. Anywhere. Yes, that’s significant!“

Correction of the high count in Mud Bay on Wednesday should have been WESTERN SANDPIPERS (4200) and DUNLIN (800); total ~5000 peeps. BLUE-WINGED TEAL is still in Beluga Slough.

 

Mud Bay/Mariner Park

HUDSONIAN GODWIT (10th), AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, RED KNOT, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, MERLIN, AMERICAN PIPIT, SAVANNAH SPARROW.

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon

RED KNOT, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, AMERICAN PIPIT, LINCOLN’S SPARROW.

End of the Spit

GREAT BLUE HERON, SANDERLING, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK TURNSTONE, ROCK SANDPIPER, SURFBIRD, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, HERRING GULL.

Beluga Slough/Trail down the hill

BLUE-WINGED TEAL, MARBLED GOTWIT, TUNDRA SWAN (2), WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, GLAUCOUS GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR; AMERICAN PIPIT, HERMIT THRUSH, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.

Beluga Lake/Upper Lake (Platform Area)

RING-NECKED DUCK; TREE and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS; TRUMPETER SWAN; YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER; PECTORAL SANDPIPER. Platform area: RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, WILSON’S SNIPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN GOSHAWK.

Calvin and Coyle Trail

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, BOREAL CHICKADEE, PACIFIC WREN, BROWN CREEPER, GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, HERMIT THRUSH, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN HARRIER, WILSON’S SNIPE, LINCOLN’S SPARROW.

In Town

Mattox: RED CROSSBILLS. Mid-town: DOWNY WOODPECKER

Anchor River/Anchor Point

SEMIPAMATED SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, HERRING GULL, AMERICAN PIPIT, SPRUCE GROUSE, SAVANNAH SPARROW, ARCTIC TERN, PACIFIC LOON,

Out on the Bay/Seldovia

Gull Island: TUFTED PUFFIN, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, SURFBIRDS  

Seldovia: CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HARLEQUIN DUCK.

On the Bay: COMMON EIDER (Chinitna Bay), SPRUCE GROUSE (Grewingk Ck/Lake), RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, COMMON MURRE (2000 near Gull Is), TUFTED PUFFIN, MARBLED and KITTLETZ’S MURRELET.

 

Species seen Wednesday (May 8th)

What a great beginning to our Shorebird Festival!  The RED KNOT is still here—seen both at Mud Bay and the Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon area. Many other species–in fact 100 checked on our list so far!  Yesterday’s high count of WESTERN SANDPIPERS and peeps was 4200 in Mud Bay. A great array of birds along the Calvin and Coyle Trail. Excellent birding at the head of Beluga Lake in the Platform area (FAA Rd.) and down the trail from Festival Headquarters down to Beluga Slough.  This year due to plugged outlet, there is much more water than usual in the Slough.  Different birds including a BLUE-WINGED TEAL which we hardly ever see, are here.  Besides the EURASIAN WIGEON, earlier there was a Storm Wigeon also in the Slough. (Not a species, but a color variation I think.)

Mud Bay/Mariner Park

RED KNOT, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, MERLIN, AMERICAN PIPIT, SAVANNAH SPARROW.

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon

RED KNOT, WHIMBREL, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN.

End of the Spit

SANDERLING, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK TURNSTONE, ROCK SANDPIPER, SURFBIRD, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER.

Beluga Slough/Trail down the hill

BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL (4), WHIMBREL, LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, GLAUCOUS GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR (20); AMERICAN PIPIT, HERMIT THRUSH, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, also CANADA, CACKLING, and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.

Beluga Lake/Upper Lake (Platform Area)

RING-NECKED DUCK; TREE, VIOLET-GREEN, and CLIFF SWALLOWS; TRUMPETER SWAN; YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER; PECTORAL SANDPIPER. Platform area: RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, WILSON’S SNIPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. NORTHERN HARRIER (2) were hunting the north side of the lake mid-day. (CANVASBACK seen on the 7th)

Calvin and Coyle Trail

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, BOREAL CHICKADEE, PACIFIC WREN, BROWN CREEPER, GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, HERMIT THRUSH, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN HARRIER, WILSON’S SNIPE.

Anchor River/Anchor Point

WHIMBREL (35), BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, HERRING GULL, AMERICAN PIPIT, SPRUCE GROUSE, SAVANNAH SPARROW. (HUDSONIAN GODWIT on the 7th)

Out on the Bay/Seldovia

Gull Island: TUFTED PUFFIN, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER: 2 pair Yukon Is, 1 pair Hesketh Is.

Seldovia: CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HARLEQUIN DUCK.

On the Bay: RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, COMMON MURRE (2000 near Gull Is), TUFTED PUFFIN, MARBLED and KITTLETZ’S MURRELET.

 

 

PRELIMINARY REPORT (May 6-7th)

Homer is working hard to give us some warm spring weather for the Shorebird Festival. Most important though, the birds are cooperating: arriving on schedule and in some very good numbers.  A great beginning for our wonderful Festival this year.  A smattering of birds below to get us started and we’re starting off with a RED KNOT!

Mud Bay/Mariner Park

A RED KNOT was seen on the 6th and 7th  in Mud Bay!  Also on that tide was a flock of ~2500-3000 WESTERN SANDPIPERS and ~700 DUNLIN.  Other species: SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, AMERICAN PIPIT, SAVANNAH SPARROW.

Green Timbers/Louie’s Lagoon/Lower end of the Spit

PECTORAL SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, LEAST SANDPIPER

Beluga Slough/Dam

BLUE-WINGED TEAL seen on the 7th.  Other species: GADWALL; EURASIAN WIGEON; BONAPART’S GULL; LAPLAND LONGSPUR (20); AMERICAN PIPIT; HERMIT THRUSH; WHIMBREL; LEAST SANDPIPER; GREATER YELLOWLEGS; and CANADA, CACKLING, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE; BARROW’S GOLDENEYE.

Beluga Lake/Upper Lake (Platform Area)

CANVASBACK (3); TREE, VIOLET-GREEN, and CLIFF SWALLOWS; TRUMPETER SWAN; YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER; PECTORAL SANDPIPER; (platform area) RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, WILSON’S SNIPE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER.

Anchor River/Anchor Point

WHIMBREL, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SPRUCE GROUSE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, SAVANNAH SPARROW, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, BELTED KINGFISHER

Out on the Bay/Seldovia

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (20) off the end of the Spit.  Gull Island: TUFTED PUFFIN (7). BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS: 2 pair Yukon Is, 1 pair Hesketh Is. (Seldovia: CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD.