Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Fall Bird Migration Observations

Juneau, Alaska

2004

 

This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during Fall, 2004 was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.

 

JUNEAU FALL MIGRATION REPORT - 2004

The Fall migration period extends from August 1 through November 30.

Note To readers. All known sightings of birds that are occasional, or rarer than occasional, on the Juneau checklist--for the summer/fall seasons that correspond to the ABA Fall Migration season (August – November) have been noted here. All sightings of birds that are rare, or very rare for the appropriate seasons are in bold type.

OBSERVERS

BA = Bev Agler

MA = Mark Anderson

RA = Robert Armstrong

LBa = Lou Barr

LB = Liz Blecker

MB = Matt Brooks

ND = Nat Drumheller

KG = Karen Glass

RG = Rich Gordon

GH = Gareth Hummel;

DM = Deanna MacPhail

JM = Joe McCabe

MM = Mary McCafferty

NM = Nina Mollett

DR = Deb Rudis

MS = Mark Schwan

AS = Andy Smoker

PS = Paul Suchanek

GU = George Utermohle

GVV = Gus VanVliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman

 

Weather note: Mild weather through the end of November allowed individuals of many hardy species to linger through the period.

Greater White-fronted Goose: A flock of 65 in V-formation seen flying south down Lynn Canal on September 4 (GV) and, on the same day, another flock of 28 in V-formation flew south directly above the Mendenhall Wetlands (GV). On the following day, September 5, a flock of 100+ flew south over Auke Bay (GV).

Cackling Canada Goose: A flock of 30 in V-formation seen flying south down Lynn Canal on September 4.

Pied-billed Grebe. First seen in the northern Twin Lake area on September 24 (JM), this bird was seen periodically (e.g. 10/9, 10/10, 10/20) over the next month in both the south and north lakes (m.obs.).

Puffinus sp. shearwater. A single shearwater, believed to be a Sooty Shearwater, landed next to a fishing boat that was traveling up Gastineau Channel, a couple of miles south of Douglas, on November 12 (LBa).

Eurasian Wigeon – Two males, first noted near the mouth of Fish Creek on November 6 (PS), appeared to remain through the end of November. A hybrid male Eurasian X American wigeon was also observed on November 28 (PS). These birds may attempt to overwinter with a flock of several hundred American wigeon.

Gadwall. A pair was in the marsh by the Pioneer’s Home on November 22 (SZ), seven were seen on November 28 (PS), and 8 were there on November 30 (SZ). Eleven were noted at the mouth of Lawson Creek on November 26 (PS).

Blue-winged Teal. Two were seen in the float plane pond along the Mendenhall Dike Trail on September 19 (JM).

Canvasback. A Canvasback was seen on Twin Lakes on November 1 (SZ) and November 5 (NM), two were seen there on November 15 (SZ), three were there November 22-30 (SZ, PS).

Redhead. One was reported from Twin Lakes on October 19 (KG). Two were seen there on November 5/6 (PS, NM, SZ)

Ruddy Duck. Two were seen on Twin Lakes October 10-13 (PS, BA). A single bird was seen there November 5/6 (PS, NM, SZ).

Red-tailed Hawk. A single bird was seen soaring below the tram on August 9 (SZ). A begging juvenile and attending light-phase adult was photographed on August 10 on Douglas Island – a rare breeding record for Juneau (PS). A juvenile was seen at Eagle Beach on September 4 (MS). Red-tailed Hawks, including a Harlan’s Hawk, were seen out the road on September 7 (PS). Red-tailed Hawks were also seen from Mount Roberts on September 17 (MB), and flying over the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 24 (NM).

Rough-legged Hawk. Two were seen while hawk watching from Mount Roberts on September 17 (MB).

Osprey. One was seen along the road, on the way back from Eagle Beach, on September 6 (BA, DM, LB). Perhaps the same bird was seen that same day near Tee Harbor (GV).

Peregrine Falcon. One was reported on September 6 (PS, GV). Another was seen at Cowee Creek Meadows on September 10 (MB). Three were observed on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 14 (PS).

Gyrfalcon. One was seen harassing a flock of shorebirds along the Mendenhall Dike Trail on September 18 (AS, MA).

American Coot. Coots were seen on Twin Lakes throughout much of the fall period starting with a single bird on September 28 (MB). The maximum number seen was five during the first week of November (SZ).

American Golden-plover. Two were on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 8 – 9 (BA, PS, MB).

Black-bellied plover – A very late individual at Eagle Beach on November 5 – 6 (PS, GV).

Killdeer. A very high count of 27 was seen at North Douglas Island on 18 August (PS).

Solitary Sandpiper. One or two individuals were observed at Mendenhall Wetlands and Point Bridget from August 3-18 (PS, BA), with a high count of 8 at the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 7 (GV). A very late individual was observed at Mendenhall Wetlands on September 14 – 15 (PS, GV).

Upland Sandpiper. One was seen at the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 11 (PS) and on August 16 (GV), and two were heard there on August 18 (BA). On September 6, one was reported near the Boy Scout Camp at Eagle Beach (BA, DM, LB), and several observers reported one (perhaps the same bird) feeding in the middle of the highway near Eagle Beach on September 7 (PS, GV, SZ, MB).

Sanderling. Two were seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 8-9 (BA, PS, MB). Six were photographed at Eagle Beach on September 19 (RA).

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. One was on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 9 and 13 (PS, MB, GV).

Stilt Sandpiper. A juvenile bird was seen at the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 6 (PS), while two were there August 9 – 11 (GV, PS, MB). The last one was sighted there on August 27 (GV).Photo by Paul Suchanek

Buff-breasted Sandpiper. One was seen, and photographed, near the mouth of the Mendenhall River on August 26 (PS). Another was seen, and photographed, near the mouth of the Mendenhall River on September 8 (PS, BA); and three were seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on September 9 (PS, MB).

Parasitic Jaegers. Three were seen about mile off Point Retreat on September 1 (PS). Two (an adult light morph, and a juvenile dark morph) were seen in the Point Bridget area on September 26 (MB).

Franklin’s Gull. A second winter bird was seen offshore in Cowee Cove, on September 25 (MB).

Ring-billed Gull. Four (3 adults and one second year bird) were near the mouth of Fish Creek and Gastineau Channel where they empty into Fritz Cove on August 2 (PS). Single birds (probably from this group) were seen on the Douglas side of the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 3 and 5 (SZ). Another was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on August 31 (MB) and the final observation of an adult was on September 13 (PS).

Glaucous Gull – Single immatures were seen on several occasions (last one observed on September 6-PS) but a rarely seen adult was observed near Salmon Creek on August 20 (PS) and 21 (MB).

Lesser Black-backed Gull. An adult was at the Mendenhall River on August 19 (PS, photos, RG) and on September 14 near the mouth of Fish Creek (PS). Another, different adult was found on August 24 at Point Bridget (PS, photos).

Photo by Paul Suchanek

Ancient Murrelet. A single bird was seen near Point Retreat, lower Lynn Canal, on September 1 (PS, photos). This species is only very rarely sighted in the inside waters near Juneau.

Photo by Paul Suchanek

Great Gray Owl. Reported by ADF&G staff (Shawn Johnson), from the Peterson Creek area (North Douglas) on September 8, and re-found on September 9 (PS, photos, MB, SZ). This bird was periodically reported by local residents over the next several weeks. Photo by Paul Suchanek

Northern Pygmy Owl. One observed near Point Bridget State Park on August 29 (GV), one calling at Mile 35 on September 19 (GV), one at an Auke Bay feeder on October 15 (GV), and one just east of the Sheep Creek Bridge along Thane Road on November 14 (AS).

Common Nighthawk. One was seen near the Mendenhall Glacier on the afternoon of September 8 (MB). Another, believed to be a female, was seen at the beginning of the Point Bridget Trail on September 10 (MB).

Vaux’s Swift. On September 4, a flock of 100 swirled above Eagle Beach (GV), followed by an even larger flock of 150+ on September 7 (GV, PS, SZ), perhaps the largest aggregation known for Alaska..

Northern Flicker. Two red-shafted birds were seen at the Mendenhall Glacier during September 20 - 22 (MB). A late bird seen on November 18 at Point Bridget was a hybrid male (PS).

Olive-sided Flycatcher. One was seen hawking insects above the parking lot at the Mendenhall Glacier (MB, GH)

Horned Lark – Three very late individuals on November 22 at Mendenhall Wetlands (PS).

American pipit – Individuals lingered into November with 3 seen as late as November 29 at Point Bridget (PS).

Red-breasted Nuthatch. There were many reports of Red-breasted Nuthatches throughout the Juneau area over the fall migration period. The maximum number reported was an amazing flock of 55 birds counted in the Cowee Meadows area on September 26 (MB).

Mountain Bluebird. Two were seen above the tram (2,000 ft. elevation) on September 15 (RA).

Townsend’s Solitaire. A single bird was seen on a ridge above Juneau on August 15 (DR).

Cedar Waxwing. Following the multitude of June/July observations, Cedar Waxwings continued to be seen into the fall, including a flock of 40 – 50 birds at Salmon Creek on August 20 (MB). Large numbers were discovered near Lemon Creek at the end of August (MM), with 80 counted on August 31 (GV), including observations of an adult feeding young. On September 4, the flock numbered 110 (GV), perhaps the largest number ever for Alaska. An apparent family, with two adults feeding 3 young, was seen for over two weeks in late July and early August in lower Mendenhall Valley (DR), and at least 5 juvenile birds were seen feeding in Juneau on August 13 (MM, GV).

Townsend’s Warbler. An amazing flock of 50+ birds was observed in Auke Bay on August 28 (GV).

Palm Warbler. One was seen along the dike trail on November 11 (GV)--the latest record for Juneau.

Blackpoll Warbler. The first migrant was seen in the lower Mendenhall Valley (PS), then another one at the Mendenhall Glacier Forelands, and still another in the upper Mendenhall Valley (MB), all on August 23. One was seen at Auke Bay on August 25 (GV), while the last one was noted on September 4 in the lower Mendenhall Valley, at Brotherhood Bridge (PS, GV). These observations probably represent a new high count for Juneau.

American Redstart. A male was seen in a mixed flock of songbirds near the Eagle Beach Boy Scout Camp on the weekend of August 16 (MB). Another was seen near Moose Lake on August 23 (PS). A female was seen along the Moraine Ecology Trail on August 24 (MB, GH). The last migrant female was noted on September 6 at Point Bridget (PS).

Chipping Sparrow. A juvenile bird was seen in a large flock of sparrows near the Mendenhall Glacier on September 6 (MB). Another juvenile was seen in a sparrow group in an Auke Bay neighborhood on September 4 – 5 (MS).

Harris’ Sparrow. An immature bird occurred at an Auke Bay feeder during September 24 – 26 (GV, m.obs.). perhaps a record-tying early arrival date for Alaska.

Snow Bunting. Three were seen at Sandy Beach on November 18 (GU), and were still there on November 19 (MB).

Red-winged Blackbird. This species breeds in the marsh by the Pioneer’s Home. At least five young birds were still being seen there on October 16 (SZ).

Brown-headed Cowbird. Two juvenile-looking birds were seen at near the Mendenhall Glacier on August 11 (MB).

Pine Siskin. Although scarce for most of the period, large numbers of pine siskins moved into the area in late November (PS, GV, SZ). The largest flock reported was one with 1,500+ birds at Pint Bridget State Park in the latter part of November (PS).

Other sightings reported from outside the Juneau area:

Wilson’s Phalarope. Nat Drumheller reported a juvenile, seen on a mudflat along the Salmon River (Gustavus), on October 4 (from Eaglechat).

Curlew Sandpiper. Nat Drumheller reported one at the mouth of the Good River (Gustavus) at low tide on October 3 (from Eaglechat). Curlew Sandpiper - Photo by Nat Drumheller

Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Nat Drumheller reported two, seen in Gustavus, feeding near the edge of a shallow intertidal pool on August 29 (from Eaglechat).

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Photo by Nat Drumheller

White-throated Sparrow. Phoebe Vanselow and Nat Drumheller reported one at their feeder in Gustavus on November 9 (from Eaglechat).

Brown-headed Cowbird. Marlena Mooring reported seeing 4+ at 17-mile Haines Highway on September 26 (from Eaglechat).

Laughing Gull. One was seen in Eastern Icy Strait, and a different bird was seen in Cross Sound on August 31, (SZ, MB, RG). Details were submitted in a report e-mailed on 9/11/04.

Buller’s Shearwater. Three were seen on September 1, offshore a little east of Cape Suckling (SZ, MB, RG). Details were submitted in a report e-mailed on 9/11/04

Manx Shearwater. One was seen a little west of Cape Suckling on September 1, 2004 SZ, MB). Details were submitted in a report e-mailed on 9/11/04


[Home Page] [Upcoming Events] [Presidents Message] [Officers and Chairs] [Local Birding] [Photo gallery]

Send your comments or suggestions to: webmaster@juneau-audubon-society.org

Copyright 2004 - 2005 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: December 27, 2004.