Anchorage Area Rarity – Willet

The Willet

Location:  Kenai, AK – Kenai River Wildlife Viewing Platform at the mouth of the Kenai River

First Seen:  June 22, 2012

Last Seen:  June 30, 2012

Discovered by:  Laura Burke?

Relative Rarity:  First record for all of Alaska.


Anchorage Area Rarity – Western Kingbird

The Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird


Location:  Anchorage, AK – Westchester Lagoon

First Seen:  June 11, 2012 by Gavin Beiber.  Re-located June 13, 2012 by Pat Pourchot

Last Seen:  June 14, 2012

Discovered by:  Gavin Beiber.  Subsequently relocated by Pat Pourchot

Relative Rarity:  Western Kingbirds have been seen in Southeast Alaska in Juneau and in the Hyder area, as well as along the Denali Highway.  They are extremely unusual with less-than-annual sightings.   A Western Kingbird was seen in Seward, AK for about 4 days in 2008.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Franklin’s Gull

The Franklin’s Gull

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Mouth of Chester Creek, Mouth of Fish Creek

First Seen:  June 7, 2012

Last Seen:  June 10, 2012

Discovered by: David Sonneborn

Relative Rarity:  Casual in South-coastal Alaska.  Anchorage sightings in August, 2005 and September 2009. Extremely rare in spring, summer, and fall.  Maybe 1 per year.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Great Egret

The Great Egret

Location:  Anchorage, AK – 20 Mile River Marsh

First Seen:  May 28, 2012

Last Seen:  May 31, 2012

Discovered by: John Pearce and Elizabeth Manning.  Word spread by Thede Tobish.

Relative Rarity:  Accidental in South-central Alaska, this being the first reported sighting.

Additional Information:  1st Great Egret observed in south coastal Alaska. Adult in breeding plumage. Appeared to be feeding on Alaska Blackfish, catching several while observed. Periodically harassed by Mew Gulls.

This Great Egret …. is about the 20th occurrence of the species in Alaska and the first for the Anchorage area.  Aside from one record in Cordova, another for Kodiak, and two for Barrow, most of Alaska’s records are split evenly between Southeast Alaska and the western and central Aleutians, where the Asian breeding race modesta is involved. –Aaron Lang

Anchorage Area Rarity – Ivory Gull

The Ivory Gull

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Campbell Point Park near the Clithroe Center in Anchorage

First Seen:  May 7, 2012

Last Seen:  May 7, 2012

Discovered by:  Luke DeCicco

Relative Rarity:  Casual in South coastal, AK.  Third local record.  Last seen in Anchorage in May, 2006.


Anchorage Area Rarity – Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak

Location:  Palmer, AK – The Butte area

First Seen:  January 12, 2012

Last Seen:  March 25, 2012 (with additional undocumented sightings as late as mid-May, 2012)

Discovered by:  Bob and Chariie Sartor

Relative Rarity:  One prior record from the Anchorage area.  Up to twenty (20) additional records from South east, Alaska.


Anchorage Area Rarity – Dusky Thrush

The Dusky Thrush

Dusky Thrush

Dusky Thrush

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Turnagain Subdivision

First Seen:  December 10, 2011

Last Seen:  March 17, 2012 (but also seen in subsequent years in the winter up through 2014)

Discovered by:  Thede Tobish

Relative Rarity:  Most reports from the Western Aleutians.  Outside of Alaska there have been 4 North America sightings. This was the first sighting in South Central Alaska. – ABA

Information:  Frequently associating with a winter flock of American Robins

Anchorage Area Rarity – Red Wing

The Redwing



Location:  Seward, AK – Lowell Point Beach

First Seen:  November 16, 2011

Last Seen:  November 26, 2011

Discovered by:  Jim Hebert

Relative Rarity:  Carol Griswold sent a photo to Buzz Scher who positively identified it.  Thanks to Carol, Jim, and Peregrine Joe for hosting out of town and out of state seekers.