Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Homer

Expand Messages
  • George Matz
    Yesterday (Tturs) I birded with Dave Sonneborn and Mossy Kilcher in the Homer area. At Mossy s, as usual, there was an abundance of birds. Besides the usual
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 14, 2008
      Yesterday (Tturs) I birded with Dave Sonneborn and Mossy Kilcher in the Homer area. At Mossy's, as usual, there was an abundance of birds. Besides the usual songbirds, there was a female Purple Finch, Wilson's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler,Northern Shrike, and many American Robins and Bohemian Waxwings.

      Dave and I drove out to the Spit. At Mud Bay there were hundreds of mallards and mixed in were two Eurasian Widgeon's as well as several American Widgeons. The Spit had the usual array of gulls, seabirds, etc.

      Below is an article in last weeks Homer News about our new Kachemak Bay Birders that is starting up.

      George


      Kachemak Bay Birders focus on flocks, fine weather or not

      Group holds first 'First Saturday' outing

      BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
      STAFF WRITER
      Birding during the Kachemak Shorebird Festival in May can mean driving rain, wind that rattles even the toughest spotting scope tripods and fickle migrating birds and that's birding in the peak season.

      Winter birding? Most songbirds and almost all the breeding birds have left. Binoculars fog up. On days in the spring where even an average birder can spot 30 species, winter birders would be lucky to see 15 species in one spot. Those were the challenges last Saturday when the newly formed Kachemak Bay Birders held its first First Saturday outing.



      Photo by Michael Armstrong

      Birders look at scoters, grebes and loons in the bay off the Homer Spit during the first First Saturday outing of the Kachemak Bay Birders.

      The good news?

      "The nice thing about winter birding is most birds can be found in the beginning of the bird book," said Carmen Field, a Kachemak Bay Research Reserve naturalist and last weekend's guide to the hour of power birding.

      Many bird books, such as the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, start with loons and grebes two of the easily seen birds from Saturday's outing at Land's End Resort on the southwest side of the Homer Spit. Within minutes of setting up a spotting scope, Field pointed out a red-necked grebe about 50 feet in the bay.

      "Red necked" describes the grebe in its summer plumage. With the breeding season over, the birds with bright red necks have gone to their winter colors, with pale gray and brown necks and bodies. Distinctive coloration can't be relied upon a challenge and a learning lesson for new birders.

      "We're looking at subtle differences," Field said.

      "That's where body shape is important," said George Matz, one of about 20 birders who braved a stiff eastern breeze and tried to distinguish bobbing gray blobs out on the bay.

      Formed by a group of birders wanting to connect with other birders, Kachemak Bay Birders plans to meet every first Saturday throughout the year. No matter the weather, they plan on getting together for a few hours of birding.

      "It's an informal bunch," said Lani Raymond, one of the organizers, and the birder who monitors the Kachemak Bay Bird Alert hotline, 235-PEEP (7337).

      Group birding has a few advantages. Birders can share equipment like spotting scopes and bird books. Experienced birders can share viewing techniques with new birders. The more eyes in an area, the more birds can be seen. On Saturday, people frequently said, "Hey, look at that," as scopes zeroed in on a new sighting.

      The "many eyes" perspective paid off last Saturday. Field said if they got 15 bird species in an hour, that would be a good count for winter. Some species were easy to see, like a pair of mature bald eagles sitting on the roof of a Land's End condo. Others were trickier, like a flock of rosy finches that flitted by. By noon, Field had counted 16 species.

      "That's awesome," she said.

      Spotted were common loons, Pacific loons, red-necked grebes, horned grebes, pelagic cormorants, black scoters, white-winged scoters, surf scoters, long-tailed ducks, bald eagles, mew gulls, herring gulls, glaucous-winged gulls, common murres, rock doves, northwestern crows and gray-crowned rosy finches. Field said she also saw what might have been a hybrid between a herring gull and a glaucous-winged gull.

      Along with monthly outings, Kachemak Bay Birders plans to put together science programs and do some citizen science, where interested amateurs help scientists with observations and research.

      Kachemak Bay Birders also will help with the annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, held in late December. An event often done with dedicated birders, Raymond said this year Kachemak Bay Birders hopes to get new birders to work on counting teams.

      "The idea is to get some new people who would want to go," Raymond said.

      The Kachemak Bay Birders hold an organizational meeting at 1 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. The next First Saturday outing is 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at a place to be announced. To receive more information about meetings and outings, e-mail Michelle Michaud at michellemmichaud@... or call her at 399-3159.

      Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@....

      "The nice thing about winter birding is most birds can be found in the beginning of the bird book."

      Carmen Field, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve naturalist and last weekend's guide to the hour of power birding







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • davidsonne@aol.com
      Friday, Nov. 14 Finally got to a computer. Thanks to George and Mossy for getting the word out. In summary, I stopped in Seward for a few hours on the way down
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 14, 2008
        Friday, Nov. 14

        Finally got to a computer. Thanks to George and Mossy for getting the
        word out. In summary,
        I stopped in Seward for a few hours on the way down here on Wednesday
        and it was very slow. Nothing inthe mountain ash or feeders.

        Homer is great. I should say Mossy Kilcher's yard is great. This
        evening we had a Townsend's Solitare. No sign of either warbler today.
        the Purple Finch was cooperative this AM. There could easily be other
        stuff lurking in there.

        I checked the Mallard flock in Mud Bay and there were at least 6 male
        Eurasian Widgeon and 150 American Widgeon.

        There is a forelorn looking imm. SHarp-tailed Sandpiper at Bishop's
        Beach. It is about 10 feet from the parking lot in habitat similar to
        the parking lot (frozen gravel).

        Hopefully more to follow.

        David Sonneborn
      • davidsonne@aol.com
        Great birding continues in Homer. The Mountain Bluebird is still regularly at the Mormon Church. Had a single Cedar Waxwing with about 50 Robins sitting in
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 12 6:24 PM
          Great birding continues in Homer. The Mountain Bluebird is still regularly at the Mormon Church. Had a single Cedar Waxwing with about 50 Robins sitting in Cottonwoods over Mrs Johnson's House(Fernwood) and the solitare is regularly at the same place. Mossy had 3 Sawwhet Owls at Seaside Farm today. Lots of Robins, sparrows etc but couldn't find anyhting different. Thanks to Mossy, Aaron Lang and Dave Erickson.

          Dave Sonneborn



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Sonneborn
          Mossy Kilcher, Osi and I Had a Mountain Bluebird and 2 Cedar Waxwings with 200-300 Robins along Fernwood off East End Road today. Dave Sonneborn Sent from my
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 1, 2013
            Mossy Kilcher, Osi and I Had a Mountain Bluebird and 2 Cedar Waxwings with 200-300 Robins along Fernwood off East End Road today.
            Dave Sonneborn

            Sent from my iPhone
          • David Sonneborn
            Nick and I had some interesting birds in Homer today Chipping Sparrow with about 20 juncos near ocean Shores just below the Bidarka Inn 3 N Shovelers Beluga
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 19, 2015
              Nick and I had some interesting birds in Homer today
              Chipping Sparrow with about 20 juncos near ocean Shores just below the Bidarka Inn
              3 N Shovelers Beluga Slough
              White-throated Sparrow at Mossy's
              Dave S

              Sent from my iPhone
            • David Sonneborn
              Sent from my iPhone
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 21, 2015
                Sent from my iPhone
              • David Sonneborn
                Lots of birds around Highlights were 2 Savannah Sparrows that Tim Stevenson and I had on the Spit and a second Redhead that I found in Beluga Slough after Tim
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 12, 2016
                  Lots of birds around
                  Highlights were 2 Savannah Sparrows that Tim Stevenson and I had on the Spit and a second Redhead that I found in Beluga Slough after Tim left
                  The King Eider was still present yesterday but we couldn't find it today
                  While looking for the eider two Crested Auklets flew by
                  David Sonneborn

                  Sent from my iPhone
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.