General Membership Meeting – December 2015

Thursday – December 10, 2015

Rare Birds of Alaska and Some Common Birds in Focus

by David Sonneborn

at the BP Energy Center

7:00 PM

160110 - David Sonneborn

160110 – David Sonneborn

David Sonneborn is legendary among Alaskan birders as the person with the highest Alaska bird list total of all time at some 419 species.  He has probably seen more rare birds in Alaska than anyone else, and he’ll share his amazing journey into the world of Alaskan rarities with us as we head into Christmas Bird Count season.  Dave will share glimpses of birds that most of us only dream of.  We hope you’ll join us for a true Christmas treat and plenty of Cookies.

The thirty-fourth report of the Alaska 200 Club states that; “David Sonneborn remains at the top of the list; still the only birder to have reported seeing more than 400 species in Alaska

Please note that our December meeting is one week earlier than our usual Third Thursday so as not to conflict with the Holiday Season and the Christmas Bird Count.  We’ll also have a last minute update on the CBC which will take place this year on Saturday, December 19.  Full information on the Bird Count is on our website.

 

General Membership Meeting – November 2015

Thursday – November 19, 2015

stories from the book

“Animal Stories:  Encounters with Alaska’s Wildlife”

by Bill Sherwonit

at the BP Energy Center

7:00 PM

Animal Stories: Encounters with Alaska's Wildlife

Animal Stories: Encounters with Alaska’s Wildlife

Bill Sherwonit presents:

Animal Stories: Encounters with Alaska’s Birds and Other Wildlife that Enrich our Lives.

Anchorage nature writer and author Bill Sherwonit will give a talk and reading based on his newest book, “Animal Stories.”

Bill’s book ranges from “wood frogs to redpolls and shrews to lynx and wolverines.”  Nick Jans wrote, “Bill Sherwonit’s three-plus decades of experience with Alaska wildlife, and his love for them all, from grizzlies to robins, shines forth.”

We are proud to be sharing an evening with the author of essays that were chosen for inclusion in “the Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology.”

That’s a reason to serve cookies!

Anchorage Area Rarity – Snowy Owl

Location:  The Turnagain Neighborhood – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  November 08, 2015

Last Seen:  November 08, 2015

Discovered by:  First observed, positively IDed, reported, and graciously hosted by Judith Haggar and W. Keys.

Relative Rarity:  Two prior records in Anchorage with one in September of 1998 and another in October of 1994.  One other prior record in south-central, Alaska in Cordova in 2004.  No other prior records in Alaska north of Juneau.  (source is the eBird database)

151108 - Snowy Owl - 2Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Costa’s Hummingbird

Location:  The Turnagain Neighborhood – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  October 30, 2015

Last Seen:  November 03, 2015 (but still ongoing)

Discovered by:  First observed, positively IDed, reported, and graciously hosted by Judith Haggar and W. Keys.

Relative Rarity:  Two prior records in Anchorage with one in September of 1998 and another in October of 1994.  One other prior record in south-central, Alaska in Cordova in 2004.  No other prior records in Alaska north of Juneau.  (source is the eBird database)

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbird

June 2016 Ferry Trip to Dutch Harbor

June, 2016

with Aaron Bowman

Several Anchorage Audubon members are organizing a guided birding trip on the Tustumena ferry from Homer to Dutch in June. We are also hoping to charter a boat in Dutch to better our chances of seeing the Whiskered Auklet.

The ferry schedule doesn’t come out until November but the cabins fill up very quickly so we are doing some preplanning now. We think it will cost about $550 for the ferry trip with a berth. Please note: this price is based on last year’s rate. The flight from Dutch to Anchorage is roughly $500, and we expect the cost of staying overnight in Dutch to be about $100/night (possibly 2 nights depending on the ferry schedule).

Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Palm Warbler

Location:  Cuddy Park – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  October 18, 2015

Last Seen:  October 21, 2015

Discovered by:  First observed, positively IDed, and reported by Aaron Lang.  Also another observed, positively IDed, and reported by Aaron Bowman out at Kincaid Park on October 18, 2015.

Relative Rarity:  Getting to be nearly annual in Anchorage!  Previous Anchorage records in October of 2013, October of 2012.  Also another seen by Aaron Bowman on the very same day (even a little earlier than this particular bird) out at Kincaid Park in 2015.  Two Palm Warblers in Anchorage on the very same day!….One more year and it might not make it to this list!

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Fall Freeze Up Bird Walk – Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Freeze Up Bird Walk

October 17, 2015

meet at the Cuddy Pond parking lot just south of the

Loussac Library and north of Cuddy Pond

9:00 AM

Aaron BowmanCome watch waterfowl and other birds at hotspots around town before the lakes freeze.

Aaron Bowman will lead this outing to a number of good waterbird locations around town that may include Westchester Lagoon and Lake Hood.

Enjoy searching for the less usual waterbird species during this exciting time of year or just enjoy the typical species that are still with us. Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one and dress for the weather.

We will meet at the fountain in front of the Loussac Library at 9:00 AM where we will go over plans for the day and consolidate into fewer cars by carpooling as much as possible.

Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Black-headed Grosbeak

Location:  Near the intersection of the Old Seward Highway and Rabbit Creek Road – Anchorage, AK

First Seen:  October 16, 2015

Last Seen:  October 19, 2015

Discovered by:  Kim Behrens who relayed the information to Aaron Bowman for a positive ID.

Relative Rarity:  One prior record from the Anchorage area in 2012.  Saw and DOCUMENTED by only TWO other people.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak

Anchorage Area Rarity – Hooded Merganser

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Spenard Crossing (East Chester)

First Seen:  October 15, 2015 by Aaron Bowman

Last Seen:  October 15, 2015

Discovered by: Aaron Bowman

Relative Rarity:  Almost annual occurrence in Anchorage, Alaska…perhaps bi-annual.  Previous reports in the early summer and then again fall of 2014, the fall of 2013, the fall of 2011, the fall of 2008, the fall of 2004, and the fall of 1979.

Seems like the fall has it!  Spring or fall, it’s a regal bird!

General Membership Meeting – October 2015

Thursday – October 15, 2015

Birding Panama

by Barb & Hank Krizman

at the BP Energy Center

7:00 PM

Keel-billed Toucan

Keel-billed Toucan

Join us for a great tropical adventure as seen through the lenses of two stunning photographers—Barb and Hank Krizman.

Their recent trip to Panama yielded a treasure trove of incredible birds that they’ll share with us.
It’s just the kind of warmth we need when the snow starts to fall.

And of course, cookies will be served!

Anchorage Area Rarity – Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

 

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Turnagain Neighborhood

First Seen:  October 3, 2015 by Thede Tobish, subsequently re-discovered by Judith Haggar and W. Keys on October 7, 2015

Last Seen:  October 9, 2015

Discovered by:  Thede Tobish, subsequently re-discovered by Judith Haggar and W. Keys

Relative Rarity:  Less than annual occurrence in south-central, Alaska

Christmas Bird Count – December 2015

WELCOME TO THE ANCHORAGE AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2015

This year’s count will be Sunday December 19th followed by the Tally Party and Chili Feed Potluck at the UAA Student Union Cafeteria (same place as last year).

To sign up:   Register as a participant in the 2015 Christmas Bird Count at the National Audubon Christmas Bird Count site, www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count. Participation is free but National Audubon is always happy to accept an on line donation to continue their important work.

Contact your area leader.  A list of the leaders is below in case you already know who your leader is and want to contact him directly.    If you don’t already have a preferred area leader, you can choose the area of town where you would like to count from the map attached and contact that area leader for further instructions on when and where to meet. … Read the rest

Anchorage Area Rarity – Red Phalarope

Red Phalarope

Red Phalarope

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Lake Hood

First Seen:  September 28, 2015 but not positively identified by Aaron Bowman,
subsequently re-found by W. Keys and seen by many on September 30, 2015

Last Seen:  September 30, 2015

Discovered by:  Aaron Bowman and W.Keys

Relative Rarity:  Probably the third report in Anchorage ever.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren

Location:  Portage Valley, AK – Williwaw Salmon viewing area about 45 miles south of Anchorage.

First Seen:  July 27, 2015

Last Seen:  August 25, 2015

Discovered by:  Aaron Bowman

Relative Rarity:  Locally rare in the Anchorage municipality with reports of two birds in 2013 and one report of one bird in 2012.  Potentially under reported in the Anchorage area and 2015 seems a banner year with quite a few reports.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Mouth of Chester Creek south to Earthquake Park

First Seen:  June 3, 2015

Last Seen:  July 8, 2015

Discovered by:  Franklin Clemens

Relative Rarity:  The summer, 2015 Terek Sandpiper represents the 8th record for the Upper Cook Inlet Region (previous Anchorage records included singles along tidal flats 18 June 1977, 10-16 June 1979, 14 August 1982, 27-28 June 1984, 6 July to 1 August 1987, 8-9 June 1990, and 8-15 July 1998). Further, and most incredible, all but one of the previous records were of birds found on the mudflats between Fish Creek and Chester Creek – must be some choice mud!

The Terek Sandpiper

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Mouth of Chester Creek south to Earthquake Park

First Seen:  June 3, 2015

Last Seen:  July 8, 2015

Discovered by:  Franklin Clemens

Relative Rarity:  The summer of 2015 Terek Sandpiper represents the 8th record for the Upper Cook Inlet Region (previous Anchorage records included singles along tidal flats 18 June 1977, 10-16 June 1979, 14 August 1982, 27-28 June 1984, 6 July to 1 August 1987, 8-9 June 1990, and 8-15 July 1998). Further, and most incredible, all but one of the previous records were of birds found on the mudflats between Fish Creek and Chester Creek – must be some choice mud! (that last bit from Buzz Sher)