Friday, May 19, 2017

Diary Update #7 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 2017

🌦 Friday 19th May 2017 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ  ~ Over the past three days Dee and I have been exploring Homer, a wonderfully friendly little city on Kachemak Bay, on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Unfortunately, since we arrived on Tuesday the weather has taken a downward turn and we've gone from stunningly beautifulful cloudless blue skies to lots of cloud accompanied by the odd shower. That said it hasn't dampened our spirits and we've made the most of our time here.

Mum Moose with two newly born calves!
There's certainly plenty of areas to cover and we've hiked many trails, visited much marshland, bogs, rivers and wetland areas and spent hours sea watching! One of the treats is seeing plenty of Moose, which you can literally come across anywhere, from the city itself to the back roads. Bald Eagles are everywhere too and from our clifftop accommodation we can watch them drift by from the comfort of our decking!

Amazing Sea Otters!
Rafts of Sea Otters pass through daily, a sight to behold and Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter and Loons (Common, Red-throated and Yellow-billed) have all be noted.

Red-necked Grebes
Red-necked Grebe appear to be the common grebe species for the area and a forest walk will produce lots of Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, the odd Townsend's Warbler, plus the gorgeous little Boreal Chickadee, which sounds exactly like our own Willow Tit!

Spruce Grouse
Search the undercover and you'll find Dark-eyed Junco, Lincoln's Sparrow, and even Spruce Grouse! Today we came across our first Rusty Blackbird and other species recorded: Golden-crowned Sparrow, Song SparrowFox Sparrow and Belted Kingfisher.

Sandhill Cranes are a regular feature!
Sandhill Cranes are also a regular feature and can be seen most days on any mudflat! Winnowing Wilson's Snipe can be heard constantly, the calls resonating over long distances. However, shorebird (wader) counts have been disappointing, a local birder telling us most have moved further north and 'you should have been here a fortnight ago' 😏  That said they can still be found: WhimbrelPectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, both Yellowlegs, both Dowitchers and Dunlin.

Glaucous-winged Gulls
With lots of fishing boats coming and going Gulls are naturally a feature with the dominant Herring Gull and to a lesser degree, Mew Gull and Glaucous-winged Gull. We have managed Glaucous Gull but not that common and Black-legged Kittiwake are in the 100s, nesting everywhere! The Bonaparte's Gulls are always a pleasure to see and numbers have grown during our stay! We've also managed Black Tern, a rarity here by all accounts but one of our target birds the 'Aleutian Tern' has eluded us thus far!

Dee's Photo Gallery!

Red Squirrel

Meadow Vole

Bald Eagle

Ringed-necked Duck