The Anchorage Audubon Society chapter is a volunteer, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the conservation of southcentral Alaska ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Our dedicated volunteers provide field trips, natural history presentation, newsletters, the bird hotline, education programs for adults and children and support for conservation issues. Natural history presentations are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month from September through May. Our birding and natural history focused field trips are open to the public and are led by local bird experts. We welcome all levels of birders and non-birders on our field trips.
Saturday, July 25
Arctic Valley Bird/Plant Walk
Arctic Valley Parking Lot
Join leader Dianne Toebe for a fabulous glimpse into the birds of Alpine Anchorage. The walk will begin at the Arctic Valley Ski Area parking lot, and head up the trail to Mt. Gordon Lyon. This is a trip into a habitat for birds that we don’t see in the lowland areas of Anchorage.
There are, of course, no guarantees, but possible high altitude birds could include Horned Lark, Northern Wheatear, Says Phoebe, Rock Ptarmigan, Golden Eagle, and Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch.
Be prepared for a strenuous hike with altitude gain. The outing could last 4 hours. Bring binoculars, sturdy shoes/boots, rain gear, layers for chilly conditions, and plenty of high-energy lunch and snacks.
Join Aaron Bowman for a walk on the Coastal Trail overlooking the mudflats. The targets are Anchorage's wide array of migrating shorebirds, some of which will be heading south. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. Some birds may be distant. Walking distance will be a leisurely 1-2 miles. Meet at the Westchester Lagoon north boat launch.
Friday, July 31
Westchester Lagoon Shorebird Walk
6:30 pm--8:30 pm
RARE BIRD REPORT IN THE ANCHORAGE AREA
In the past year, we have seen a large number of birds that are very unusual in the Anchorage area. The appearance of each of these is, of course, entirely due to efforts of The Anchorage Audubon Society. Here is a list of those birds, a few details on their discovery, and the relative rarity of the species in Anchorage. We have limited this list to areas easily accessible by road from Anchorage, and have listed these rarities in chronological order.
Location: Lowell Point Beach, Seward, Alaska
FirstSeen: November 16, 2011
LastSeen: November 26, 2011
Discoveredby: Jim Herbert first spotted thebird. Carol Griswold sent a phototo Buzz Scher who positively identified it. Thanks to Carol, Jim, and Peregrine Joe for hosting out oftown and out of state seekers.
RelativeRarity: First Alaskan Record. 5th United States Record.
Redwing Photo by Carol Griswold
Location: Turnagain Subdivision, Anchorage,Alaska
FirstSeen: December10, 2011
Discoveredby: Thede Tobish.
RelativeRarity: Most reports from WesternAleutians. Outside of Alaska therehave been 4 North America sightings. This was the first in our part of Alaska. --ABA
Location: The Butte Area, Palmer, Alaska
FirstSeen: January 12, 2012
LastSeen: March 25 withundocumented possible sightings as late as Mid-May.
Discoveredby: Bob and Charlie Sartor
RelativeRarity: There are anumber of records of Evening
Grosbeak (at least 20) from Southeast Alaska, and there isone prior record from Anchorage.
THE IVORY GULL
Location: Marsh Below Clitheroe Center,Anchorage, Alaska
FirstSeen: May 7, 2012
LastSeen: May 7, 2012
Discoveredby: Luke DeCicco
RelativeRarity: Casual inSouthcoastal Alaska . Third localrecord.. Last seen inAnchorage in late May, 2006.
Location: Mouth of the Anchor River, AnchorPoint, Alaska
FirstSeen: May 11 , 2012
LastSeen: approx. May 27
Discoveredby: Brad Meiklejohn
RelativeRarity: Casual at Homer andKodiak, Accidental in Seward. Only a few records on north gulf coast.Most records from Middleton Island
Location: Twenty Mile River Marsh, Portage,Alaska
FirstSeen: May 28
LastSeen: May 31
Discoveredby: John Pearce and Elizabeth Manning. Word spread by Thede Tobish.
RelativeRarity: This Great Egret .... is about the 20th occurrence of the species inAlaska and the first for the Anchorage area. Aside from one record for Cordova,another for Kodiak and two for Barrow, most of Alaska’s records are splitevenly between Southeast Alaska and the western and central Aleutians, wherethe Asian breeding race modesta is involved. –Aaron Lang
photo courtesy Bob Winckler
THE FRANKLIN’S GULL
Location: Mouth of Chester/Fish Creeks,Anchorage, Alaska
FirstSeen: June 7, 2012
LastSeen: Approx. June 10
Discoveredby: David Sonneborn
RelativeRarity: Casual in SouthcoastalAlaska. Anchorage sightings inAugust, 2005 and September 2009. Extremely rare in spring, summer, and fall. Maybe 1 per year
Location: Westchester Lagoon Outlet Bridge Marsh,Anchorage, Alaska
FirstSeen: Monday, June 11 by GavinBeiber. Re-located Wednesday, June13 by Pat Pourchot.
LastSeen: Approx.June 14.
RelativeRarity: Western Kingbirds have been seen in Southeast Alaska in Juneau and inthe Hyder area, as well as along the Denali Highway. They are extremely unusual with less-than-annual sightings. A Western Kingbird was seen inSeward for about 4 days in 2008.
Photo Courtesy Bob Winckler
Location: Lions' Park near Lake Hood, Anchorage,Alaska
FirstSeen: June 16, 1012
LastSeen: Approximately1 week later
Discoveredby: Thede Tobish
RelativeRarity: 2nd Anchorage Record. Previous sighting in 1962. Other records from Southeast Alaska,Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Kenny Lake. One record from Gambell & Middleton Island.
Location: Kenai Boat Launch Viewing Platform,Kenai, Alaska
FirstSeen: June 22, 2012
LastSeen: Approx June 30
Discoveredby: Toby Burke. Special Thanks to Ken Tarbox forguiding Willet seekers from all over the state.
RelativeRarity: First Accepted AlaskanRecord. Seen once but notdocumented in Minto Flats, 1961.
Location: Loussac Library Pond, Anchorage Alaska
FirstSeen: July 22, 2012
LastSeen: throughout August
Discoveredby: David Sonneborn
RelativeRarity: almost annual inFall in Anchorage area, 1-2 birds most years. Very rare in July
THELESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
Location: Kenai River near Bridge AccessRoad, Kenai,Alaska
FirstSeen: July 28, 2012
LastSeen: July 28, 2012. Anotherbird was found at the Anchor River shortly after.
Discoveredby: Rich MacIntosh
RelativeRarity: Extremely rare, might be the 1stsouth-coastal record. There are 2records from Kodiak (1985, 1991) , and the first breeding pair in North Americawas found in Juneau.
Location: Dimond Estates Mobile Home Park,Anchorage, Alaska
FirstSeen: Sept.10, 2012
LastSeen: Sept11, 2012
Discoveredby: DeWayne Brantley and family attheir feeders. Photographed andcaptured on video. Neverre-located by anyone else.
RelativeRarity: Casualto Accidental in SE Alaska (Juneau, Hyder, Petersburg). A few records from Middleton Island,and one sighting from Kodiak in 2001.
THE PALM WARBLER
Location: 4700Elmore Road, Anchorage, Alaska
FirstSeen: Oct18, 2012
Discoveredby: Thede Tobish. On Wednesday, October 17, Thedeposted on AK Birding: “I've started checking chickadeeflocks for late migrants.” 21Hours later, he found a Palm Warbler.
RelativeRarity: Thedesays 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 PalmWarbler on the sidewalk of the Girdwood gas station.
THE SKY LARK
Location: Deep Creek Boat Launch, near Ninilchik,Alaska
FirstSeen: Oct. 18, 2012
Discoveredby: Steve Waltz. Steve drove south to bird Homer, but since the tide was wrong, he decided to bird the beach access points along the way. He explained, "This time I got lucky."
RelativeRarity: Rare to casual migrant in the Western Aleutians, Prbilofs, and Gambell.--George West. We've not found any records for Mainland Alaska..
Location: Lowell Point, Seward, Alaska
Discoveredby: Luke Dicicco and Scott Schuette
Birding maps are now available for Anchorage area!
The full-color map is 2’x 3’ when unfolded but folds down to a handy 6” x 9” pocket size. Authored and published by Audubon Alaska, in cooperation with Anchorage Audubon (primary author: Eric Myers). Features detailed road map, site descriptions, and driving directions for 34 birding spots on public lands. Includes updated checklist with seasonal abundance of likely birds. To purchase for $10 (or $11 by mail), contact Audubon Alaska: 907-276-7034 or Gretchen Hazen (online and local outlets coming soon). Maps will also be available for sale at Anchorage Audubon field trips and monthly meetings.