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.