Anchorage Area Rarity – Stilt Sandpipers

The Stilt Sandpipers

Stilt Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Carr Gottstein Park

First Seen:  August 17, 2014

Last Seen:  August 18, 2014

Discovered by:  Peter Scully

Relative Rarity:  Casual.  Previous reports of one (1) on September 13, 2013 at Carr Gottstein Park, one (1) on July 23, 2013 at Westchester Lagoon by Dick Prentki, and one (1) in 1998 by Nathan and Stanley Senner.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Red Knot

The Red Knot

Red Knot

Red Knot

  Anchorage, AK – Coastal Trail at the Audubon Bench

First Seen:  May 25, 2014 by Peter Scully

Last Seen:  May 25, 2014

Discovered by: Peter Scully

Relative Rarity:  Second Alaska mainland record and the first record for the Anchorage area.  Most others reported at Gambell in western Alaska.

Information:  Don’t laugh at the picture!  The bird was over 600 meters away.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Lazuli Bunting

The Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Campbell Creek Estuary Park

First Seen:  October 11, 2013

Last Seen:  October 15, 2013

Discovered by:  Aaron Bowman

Relative Rarity:  A few reports from Southeast Alaska.  Most notably in 2008 in Juneau and again in 2009 in Ketchikan.  First reported sighting in mainland Alaska and any part of Alaska north of Juneau.


Anchorage Area Rarity – American Coot

The American Coot

American Coot

American Coot

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Lake Hood

First Seen:  October 6, 2013 by Aaron Bowman, subsequently see by many

Last Seen:  October 21, 2013

Discovered by: Aaron Bowman

Relative Rarity:  Generally less than annual, but previous reported at Lake Hood in 2012, 2007, and 2004.  A few other reports at Potter Marsh in 2010 and 1980.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Siberian Stonechat

The Siberian Stonechat

Location:  Anchorage, AK – Carr Gottstein Park

First Seen:  September 24, 2013 by Aaron Bowman

Last Seen:  September 24, 2013

Discovered by: Aaron Bowman

Relative Rarity:  Second Alaska mainland record and the first record for the Anchorage area.  Most others reported at Gambell in western Alaska.

Anchorage Area Rarity – Palm Warbler

The Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler


Location:  Anchorage, AK – 4700 Elmore Road (The MOA Permit Office)

First Seen:  October 18, 2012

Last Seen:  October 19, 2012

Discovered by:  Thede Tobish

Relative Rarity:  Thede says Palm Warblers are “a common rarity” in Alaska.  “1 or 2 are found every year all over the state.”  This, however, is only the 2ndrecord in our part of the state. The first was 2 years ago when Luke DiCicco discovered a deceased Palm Warbler on the sidewalk of the Girdwood gas station.

Information:  On Wednesday, October 17 2013, Thede posted on AK Birding:  “I’ve started checking chickadee flocks for late migrants.”  21 hours later, he found a Palm Warbler.

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.