Birders were all over Homer on Dec. 14 for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Due to the mellow weather and all the open water, more species were found than on any previous year — even hummingbirds, a warbler, unexpected sparrows and swans.
A total of 80 species were seen, with three species never previously seen on a count: canvasbacks, sooty shearwaters and orange-crowned warblers. Other exceptional finds were Anna’s hummingbird, rusty blackbird, hoary redpoll, Bonaparte’s gull, ancient murrelet, short-tailed shearwater, fork-tailed storm-petrel and Townsend’s solitaire.
Species seen three days before and three days after the count are also recorded. Count Week species so far include sharp-shinned hawk, Lincoln’s sparrow and northern saw-whet owl.
The Kachemak Bay Birders thank the nearly 50 participants out counting or watching feeders, and the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center staff for the use of their facilities and helping with logistics for the count.
Dave Erikson, Homer’s CBC Coordinator/compiler, will be compiling the final numbers of each of the species found, and this will be posted on the Kachemak Bay Birders website when complete at kachemakbaybirders.org.
It was indeed “a great day to bird” — the motto of the Kachemak Bay Birders.