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Birds ‘N’ Bogs – Citizen Science in Alaska

I was delighted to be able in May to participate in the third year of Birds ‘n’ Bogs, a Citizen Science Program coordinated through Audubon Alaska and the University of Alaska Anchorage. The program monitors the distribution and productivity of 7 species of boreal birds (Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, Rusty Blackbirds, Olive-sided Flycatchers, [read more…]

St. Paul Island– One of Those Places That’s For the Birds (and Birders)

I think this was the third spring trip that I’ve made to St. Paul Island, Alaska, over the years, the last one being in 2008 during my ABA big year. It’s one of my favorite places to go birding. The birds are mostly easy to see and easy to identify and many of them are [read more…]

Spring Birding – Kenai, AK

Following my week in Homer and a couple of days at home, I went to most of the Kenai Birding Festival about 3 hours south of Anchorage, which ran from May 14-17. Some of the field trips at this festival were to shore areas for shorebirds, many of which were still around, and there were [read more…]

Spring Birding – Homer & the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

I have just spent a week in Homer (May 6-13), which included the weekend of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Although droplets of rain fell periodically, none of my birding was rained out, and birds were everywhere. Picturesque snow-topped mountains were visible in all directions out across the water of [read more…]

An Anchorage Day in Early May

The birch leaves are bigger than a mouse’s ear – this is what the local gardening expert says indicates that it is okay to plant things outside. All the ice in the Alaska bowl that includes Anchorage seems to be gone although the surrounding mountains are still snowy. It really is Spring!

The best news, [read more…]

Hawkwatching, Alaska-Style

Have you ever been to a hawkwatch? Unless you have, it probably is hard for you to imagine what a variety of experiences a hawkwatch can provide. Sometimes a hawkwatch is exciting, when a distant tiny dot on the horizon turns into a dot with wings and then into a possibly identifiable hawk – high [read more…]

Spring? Winter? Sprinter?

The calendar says it’s spring. Much of the winter has been too warm for a normal Anchorage winter and often seemed like spring long before it was actually spring, but after that the weather has not been very consistent. It is still mostly not very spring-like now. Yesterday, we had a beautiful light snow that [read more…]

Anchorage Big Day: A Big Day in a Big Place

None of us had ever done an Anchorage big day before, certainly never in mid-March when lots of wintery weather was still likely for the next couple of months. We were participating in Anchorage Audubon’s first ever big day wintertime competition (even though it was officially the first full day of spring). There were only [read more…]

Watching and Waiting and Trying not to Whine (Not so Murrily)

My goal on Monday morning (yesterday) when I went birding was to go to an ocean inlet overlook in Anchorage to see a Common Murre and to have that adventure be the subject of today’s blog post. I would write about that overlook (Point Woronzoff) and about the delight of seeing a murre there. I [read more…]

Musing on Alaska Birds, Birding Goals, and Big Years

I am now NOT doing a big year (as I keep telling myself and everyone else) even though I am in Alaska and could have begun an Anchorage big year and/or an Alaskan big year in January. When I am not doing a big year, I try to be a more normal birder, so I [read more…]