Possible Black-billed Cuckoo
- Location - Chitina - Copper River - Salmon Point Trail - Date 24 July 2013. While walking back from dip netting at Salmon Point, I heard what I believe to be a Black-billed Cuckoo calling from above the trail. The bird would only give a very shortened version of the full song (one repeated cu cu) which it would repeat once or twice as it moved from tree to tree. After about 5 minutes the bird gave a shortened version of its call (I-Bird Pro - call 2 - first rattly part). The call part was quiet and repeated 3-4 times. As I had to do repeated trips along the trail from 08:30 to 11:30 - I heard the bird each time. It was in the same general location although obviously moving around. Temperature 74F. The trail cuts along a cliff and this it doesn't allow for going off trail to search for the bird. It would be very dangerous to go off the trail. The location was about 3/4 of the way out to the point (trail is about 1/2 mile from road to Salmon Point. Did not see the bird and the song and call were shortened versions of the full song and call. If anyone else has any suggestions as to what else it might be let me know.
Was wondering if anyone had suggestions for birding Denali? I have never been and am wondering what the best strategies are. We (wife and daughter, and I ) will be there three days. We will spend one day on some sort of tour bus arranged through Holland America and the other two days are unplanned as yet. After our three days in Denali we head down to Anchorage and then catch the boat near Seward for the inside passage cruise to Vancouver BC. Many birds will be new to me as I have not birded Alaska or the West Coast. I expect I will find some birds fairly easily like Mew Gull, Artic Warlber but others will be more of a challenge. I guess my top dream birds for the trip are Gyr, Northern Hawk Owl and Black-footed or Stellars/Short-tailed Albatross. I expect my chances are not great for any of these but would like to know the best places/strategies for seeing these. I have received input from a birder in AZ, Richard Carlson, who recently took the same trip and he gave some excellent pointers on when and where to look for Pelagic birds on the Cruise boat. I will also be doing a day trip with Captain's Choice out of Seward. The latter trip is apparently good for Alcids but not Pelagics.
Anyway is there any chance of seeing a Gyr Falcon somewhere near the road or within hiking distance along the road in Denali? I have heard from a VA birder that the Gyr near Marmot Rock was not present this Summer. Can anyone suggest another spot with some chance of seeing a Gyr?
Other target birds include:
Willow, Rock, White-tailed Ptarmigan
Any suggestions for Owls? Northern Hawk Owl, Boreal, Great Grey Owl?
I am thinking Poison Ivy, Ticks, and Snakes are not an issue but Bears and Mosquitoes are.
What are the best strategies for Mosquitoes? We all have bug suit shirts
but no pants. I am hoping that these shirts paired with deet spray will
I am hoping Fall migration will be in full swing the first week of August or is this a week too soon?
Thanks for any advice or tips you can send my way.
William Leigh leightern@...
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