Early Seabirds - 2019

Red-faced Cormorant - Natoa Island - 4/2/19

Red-faced Cormorant - Natoa Island - 4/2/19

Here is an early update of seabirds showing up in the Resurrection Bay - Chiswell Islands area:

Pelagic Cormorants: Here in abundance and many looking quite spiffy with their shiny greenish-black plumage and bright white rump patches.

Red-faced Cormorants: Several seen near nesting locations at Rugged and Natoa Islands.

Black-legged Kittiwakes: Here in abundance. An estimated 8,000 were seen at their nesting cliffs around Cape Resurrection late last week and thousands more in the Chiswells on April 2nd. While they are common at the nest sites now, it’ll be at least another month before they starting building new nests.

Pigeon Guillemots: Many, perhaps 100 or more, now hanging out nearshore at various locations around Resurrection Bay.

Common Murres: Hundreds to thousands between Cape Resurrection and the Chiswells. Very few still in winter plumage.

Marbled Murrelets: These little ones are year-round residents in Resurrection Bay but not in great numbers over the past month.

Ancient Murrelets: A few seen 1 to 2 miles from Chiswell Island on April 2nd.

Not here yet but expected in another 2 to 6 weeks: Horned and Tufted Puffins, Rhinoceros and Parakeet Auklets, Thick-billed Murres, and more.

Pigeon Guillemots - Resurrection Bay - 4/1/19

Pigeon Guillemots - Resurrection Bay - 4/1/19

163 Species observed in Alaska during 2018 --

Black Oystercatcher

Black Oystercatcher

1.Greater White-fronted Goose
3.Cackling Goose
4.Canada Goose
5.Trumpeter Swan
6.Tundra Swan
7.Blue-winged Teal
8.Northern Shoveler
10.Eurasian Wigeon
11.American Wigeon
13.Northern Pintail
14.Green-winged Teal
16.Ring-necked Duck
17.Greater Scaup
18.Lesser Scaup
19.Harlequin Duck
20.Surf Scoter
21.White-winged Scoter
22.Black Scoter
23.Long-tailed Duck
25.Common Goldeneye
26.Barrow's Goldeneye
27.Hooded Merganser
28.Common Merganser
29.Red-breasted Merganser
30.Spruce Grouse
31.Willow Ptarmigan
32.Pied-billed Grebe
33.Horned Grebe
34.Red-necked Grebe
35.Rock Pigeon
36.Rufous Hummingbird
37.Sandhill Crane
38.Black Oystercatcher
39.Black-bellied Plover
40.American Golden-Plover
41.Pacific Golden-Plover
42.Semipalmated Plover
43.Bristle-thighed Curlew
45.Hudsonian Godwit
46.Marbled Godwit
47.Black Turnstone
50.Rock Sandpiper
51.Least Sandpiper
52.Pectoral Sandpiper
53.Semipalmated Sandpiper
54.Western Sandpiper
55.Short-billed Dowitcher
56.Long-billed Dowitcher
57.Wilson's Snipe
58.Red-necked Phalarope
59.Spotted Sandpiper
60.Wandering Tattler
61.Greater Yellowlegs
62.Lesser Yellowlegs
63.Pomarine Jaeger
64.Parasitic Jaeger
65.Long-tailed Jaeger
66.Common Murre
67.Thick-billed Murre
68.Pigeon Guillemot
69.Marbled Murrelet
70.Kittlitz's Murrelet
71.Ancient Murrelet
72.Parakeet Auklet
73.Crested Auklet
74.Rhinoceros Auklet
75.Horned Puffin
76.Tufted Puffin
77.Black-legged Kittiwake
78.Bonaparte's Gull
79.Mew Gull
80.Herring Gull
81.Iceland Gull
82.Glaucous-winged Gull
83.Glaucous Gull
84.Caspian Tern
85.Arctic Tern
86.Red-throated Loon
87.Pacific Loon
88.Common Loon
89.Yellow-billed Loon
90.Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
91.Northern Fulmar
92.Sooty Shearwater
93.Red-faced Cormorant
94.Pelagic Cormorant
95.Double-crested Cormorant
96.Great Blue Heron
98.Northern Harrier
99.Sharp-shinned Hawk
100.Northern Goshawk
101.Bald Eagle
102.Red-tailed Hawk
103.Western Screech-Owl
104.Great Horned Owl
105.Short-eared Owl
106.Boreal Owl
107.Northern Saw-whet Owl
108.Belted Kingfisher
109.Red-breasted Sapsucker
110.American Three-toed Woodpecker
111.Downy Woodpecker
112.Hairy Woodpecker
113.American Kestrel
115.Peregrine Falcon
116.Olive-sided Flycatcher
117.Alder Flycatcher
118.Eastern Kingbird
119.Northern Shrike
120.Steller's Jay
121.Black-billed Magpie
122.Northwestern Crow
123.Common Raven
124.Tree Swallow
125.Violet-green Swallow
126.Bank Swallow
127.Cliff Swallow
128.Black-capped Chickadee
129.Chestnut-backed Chickadee
130.Boreal Chickadee
131.Red-breasted Nuthatch
132.Brown Creeper
133.Pacific Wren
134.American Dipper
135.Golden-crowned Kinglet
136.Ruby-crowned Kinglet
137.Varied Thrush
138.Gray-cheeked Thrush
139.Swainson's Thrush
140.Hermit Thrush
141.American Robin
142.European Starling
143.American Pipit
144.Bohemian Waxwing
145.Pine Grosbeak
146.Common Redpoll
147.Red Crossbill
148.White-winged Crossbill
149.Pine Siskin
150.Lapland Longspur
151.Fox Sparrow
152.Dark-eyed Junco
153.White-crowned Sparrow
154.Golden-crowned Sparrow
155.Savannah Sparrow
156.Song Sparrow
157.Lincoln's Sparrow
158.Northern Waterthrush
159.Orange-crowned Warbler
160.Yellow Warbler
161.Yellow-rumped Warbler
162.Townsend's Warbler
163.Wilson's Warbler


Mid-Summer Update - 7/8/18

Tufted Puffin in the Gulf of Alaska.

Tufted Puffin in the Gulf of Alaska.

We have made several trips to the Chiswell Islands, Kenai Fjords, and Prince William Sound so far this summer and all of our regular species are in their expected locations.  However, nesting activity appears to be weak again this year.  A major storm in mid-June destroyed many of the Black-legged Kittiwake nests, forcing them to rebuild and attempt a second clutch.  Still, we are seeing very little incubating or brooding activity among them and among the Common and Thick-billed Murres that inhabit the area.  Red-faced and other cormorant nests are rare and little occupied.  Little is known about how the more cryptically-nesting seabirds such as the puffins and auklets are doing but many are being seen out on the water near their nesting locations.  It is always a joy to see so many beautiful birds in this biologically rich location.  Yet, I sometimes wonder how long it will last.

Rhinoceros Auklets in the Chiswell Island Archipelago.

Rhinoceros Auklets in the Chiswell Island Archipelago.

Bristle-thighed Curlew appears in Seward - 5/9/18


I stumbled across this "rare and enigmatic bird" early morning 5/7/18 out on the Seward airport mudflats.  A fantastic find as it has never before been reported for the Seward area.  This bird winters on tropical islands in the south Pacific and nests in western Alaska.  Fewer than 10,000 are thought to currently exist.  See additional details at http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/bristle-thighed-curlew


Baja Birds - Feb. 2018

Did a little birding on my winter vacation.  Here are a few that I saw on the southern Baja Peninsula.  Pictured here are Ash-throated Flycatcher, Cactus Wren, Groove-billed Ani, Grey Thrasher, Cassin's Kingbird, Gila Woodpecker with a Phainopepla, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-faced Ibises.

Christmas Bird Count 12/16/17


A brief trip around the head of Resurrection Bay aboard the M/V Dora netted 35 species and 1080 individual birds for the marine portion of the 2017 Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, Seward, Alaska:

Trumpeter Swan 2, Mallard 1, Harlequin Duck 69, Long-tailed Duck 3, Surf Scoter 52, Bufflehead 47, Common Goldeneye 7, Barrow's Goldeneye 310, Common Merganser 26, Red-breasted Merganser 56, Pacific Loon 4, Common Loon 13, Yellow-billed Loon 2, Horned Grebe 71, Red-necked Grebe 8, Pelagic Cormorant 49, Great Blue Heron 7, Bald Eagle 28, Rock Sandpiper 19, Dunlin 1, Black-legged Kittiwake 1, Mew Gull 51, Herring Gull 13, Thayer's Gull 1, Glaucous Gull 2, Glaucous-winged Gull 31, Common Murre 5, Marbled Murrelet 137, Rock Pigeon 29, Belted Kingfisher 2, Northern Shrike 1, Black-billed Magpie 10, American Crow 18, Common Raven 3, Song Sparrow 1