Juneau Audubon Society

P.O. Box 21725

Juneau, AK 99802-1725

Spring Bird Migration Observations

Juneau, Alaska

2005

 

This report on migratory birds and other birds of note observed in Juneau during Spring, 2005 was prepared by Steve Zimmerman.

 

JUNEAU SPRING MIGRATION REPORT - 2005

The Spring migration period extends from March 1 through May 31.

OBSERVERS

BA = Bev Agler

MA = Mark Anderson

GB = Gwen Baluss

MB = Matt Brooks

SB = Sylvia Bach

LC = Laurie Craig

ED = Emily Drew

LE = Larry Edfelt

KG = Karen Glass

RG = Richard Gordon

DH = Daniel Harrington

LL = Laurie Lamm

JM = Joe McCabe

NM = Nina Mollett

BP = Beth Peluso

PR = Patty Rose

AS = Andy Smoker;

MS = Mark Schwan

PS = Paul Suchanek

GV = Gus van Vliet

SZ = Steve Zimmerman

 

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe. After first being reported on May 2 at the Pioneer’s Home Marsh (LE, GV), a single bird was seen there by many observers through at least May 9 (SZ).

Cackling Goose. A bird determined to be a Cackling Goose (possibly subspecies traverneri) was seen by a group of Juneau birders on April 23 (MS, PS, RG). Two likely subspecies minima birds were photographed at Point Bridget State Park on April 25 (PS).

Snow Goose. The first report was of a single bird on the Mendenhall Wetlands on April 19 (MB) A flock was first reported at Lemon Creek on April 22 (SB) and a group of approximately 14 – 16 birds was periodically reported on the Mendenhall Wetlands through at least May 11 (NM, SZ). Snow Geese were also reported from Point Bridget State Park on April 29 (AS) and the first week of May (JM).

Eurasian Wigeon. Three (a pair and a male) were seen at Fish Creek on March 12 (PS, MB). Birds were also reported on several occasions near the mouth of the Mendenhall River throughout early May. A male was reported from Point Bridget State Park on April 29 (AS).

Blue-winged Teal. The first reported sighting was two birds on April 27 on the Mendenhall Wetlands (LE). Sightings of small numbers of this species on the Mendenhall Wetlands continued through the end of the reporting period. One was at Pioneer’s Home Marsh on May 7 (MS), and two were there on May 12 (NM).

Cinnamon Teal. One was reported on April 30 at the Mendenhall Wetlands (GV), and two were sighted on May 2 near the mouth of the Mendenhall River (PS). A peak of 3 males was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on May 21 (PS, m. obs). At least one was seen there throughout the count period. A single bird was seen on the Pioneer’s Home Marsh on May 7 (LE, MS), and was seen there through May 12 (NM).

Redhead. A male was seen on the large pond east of Temsco on April 27 (MA). Four were at the mouth of the Mendenhall River on May 7 and 8 (m.obs.)

Canvasback. A pair was seen on April 26 on the large pond east of Temsco Helicopters (MB), and sightings continued for a few days thereafter (LE, MA). One was at the mouth of the Mendenhall River on May 8 (GB).

King Eider. An immature bird was at Point Bridget on May 26 (PS).

Steller’s Eider. A female was seen, and photographed, on April 22 at the mouth of Cowee Creek in Point Bridget State Park (PS).

  Photo by Paul Suchanek

Hooded Merganser. A pair was on Twin Lakes on March 5 (JM). Several additional sightings were made over the spring period at Twin Lakes and in the marsh by the Pioneer’s Home (JM).

Osprey. An early migrant observed April 25 at Point Bridget State Park (PS).

Golden Eagle. An adult male was seen riding thermals at DuPont Point on March 7 (MB).

Sora.  A Sora was reported on the Pioneer’s Home Marsh on April 27 (GV). It was heard calling there periodically through much of the rest of the count period. Two, and possibly a third were seen or heard there on May 3 (MB) and May 4 (MS). One was at the Community Garden on May 6 (MB, GB, ED) and was likely there through the end of the count period (one responded to playbacks the first week of June).

Photo by Paul Suchanek

American Coot. One was seen on the Pioneer’s Home Marsh on April 27. It was seen there through at least May 9 (SZ).

Sandhill Crane. A flock of 21 flew over Gastineau Channel and may have landed near the golf course on May 6 (LC).

Killdeer. Several observations were made throughout the reporting period. This species appears to overwintering regularly at Fish Creek. Sightings were also reported at other locations along Gastineau Channel (LL, m.obs), and on the Mendenhall Wetlands.

Wandering Tattler. Three were seen on the beach at 17 mile on May 3 (BP) and five were there on May 11 (NM). Two were seen at the mouth of Tee Harbor on May 10 (LE).

Hudsonian Godwit. Two were reported from the mouth of the Mendenhall River on May 5 (PS). A female was seen there on May 11 (SZ, RG).

Marbled Godwit. Two birds were sighted at Auke Bay on May 4 (GV) and a single bird was reported from the Mendenhall Wetlands on May 5 (PS). Possibly the same bird was seen on the Fish Creek area of the Mendenhall Wetlands on May 7 (LE), and on May 10 (SZ).

Surfbird. A huge flock of approximately 2,500 on the Mendenhall Wetlands on May 1 (PS).

Red Knot. One observed at Mendenhall Wetlands on May 21 (m. obs.).

Solitary Sandpiper. One was seen along the airport dike trail on April 27 (MB).

Ring-billed Gull. One was seen near the mouth of Fish Creek on May 10 (SZ).

California Gull. An early adult was seen on March 12 at Fish Creek (PS).

Glaucous Gull. A first-winter bird was seen on March 12 at the Mouth of Gastineau Channel as viewed from Fish Creek (PS). At least 3 immatures on May 13 at Point Bridget State Park (PS).

Thayer’s Gull. Of approximately 20,000 gulls feeding on herring spawn at Point Bridget State Park on May 13, an estimated 20% (4,000) were Thayer’s gulls (PS). One individual was identified as an adult Kumlien’s gull, while another adult on May 16 was also identified as a Kumlien’s gull (PS).

Slaty-backed Gull. A third year bird was seen on March 12 at Fish Creek (PS).

Mourning Dove. One was seen in flight near the airport dike on May 2 (LE).

Barred Owl. A pair were actively calling at the Amalga Marsh turnoff on April 11 and were still there at the end of the count period. Another pair was at the end of Montana Creek Road on April 11 (MB).

Great Grey Owl. One was seen at the Mendenhall Wetlands (along the airport dike trail) on March 13 (BP). It is possible that this could be the same bird that was reported in September, 2004 at North Douglas and periodically thereafter.

Western Screech Owl. A pair was at the Point Bridget trailhead on April 11 and was still there at the end of the count period (MB). One responded to playbacks along North Douglas Highway near Fish Creek on May 24 and was present through the end of the count period (SZ).

Three-toed Woodpecker. A pair was reported from Point Bridget on April 19 (DH).

Hammond’s Flycatcher. One was at Point Bridget State Park on May 30 (MB).

Northern Shrike. One was seen at Point Bridget on March 13 (JM). Another was on the Mendenhall Wetlands on March 25 (LC, LE). A shrike was also seen preying on Red Crossbills on Muir Street on March 27. A single bird was seen at Point Bridget on April 21 (MB).

Warbling Vireo. First recorded on May 18 at Douglas and Fish Creek (PS), 2 were at Point Bridget State Park on May 30 (MB).

Horned Lark. A very early, winter plumaged bird was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on March 14 (MB). Subsequently, there were periodic reports of this species on the Mendenhall Wetlands during early spring.

Mountain Bluebird. Although extensive attempts were made to locate this species, there were no reports of Mountain Bluebirds in Juneau this spring.

Townsend’s Solitaire. A single bird was seen near lower Switzer Creek on April 30 (LE). Another was reported from Thane Road April 30 – May 1 (AS). Another one at Point Bridget on May 4 (PS).

Cedar Waxwing. Two were at Norton Lake on May 28 (BA, m.obs.) and two were at Point Bridget State Park on May 30 (MB).

Northern Waterthrush. One was singing along the southern shore of Mendenhall Lake on May 28 (BA, m.obs.) but this species seemed very scarce this year.

Western Tanager. A male was singing at Point Bridget State Park on May 30 (MB).

Snow Bunting. A flock of 9 was seen on the Mendenhall Wetlands on March 9 (BA). At least 1 flock of about 30 snow buntings, and probably another flock of about 15, were seen winging around the grasslands there on March 19 (PS).

Brewer’s Blackbird. One male was photographed at Thunderbird Terrace on Berners Avenue on April 28 (KG).

Purple Finch. A male visited a feeder in West Juneau from April 28 – May 1 (PR). Another, (perhaps the same bird) showed up at a feeder in North Douglas later on May 1. It was seen early on the morning of May 2, but not thereafter (PS).

Red Crossbill. This species began to appear in numbers starting in late March. By mid-April, substantial numbers were present at sunflower and suet feeders throughout the Juneau region—this behavior continued well into June and is believed to be the first time ever recorded in Juneau (GV).


*

Note to readers: All sightings of birds that are occasional, or rarer than occasional, on the Juneau checklist (spring period) have been noted here. Sightings of birds that are very rare or accidental are in bold type.

   

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Copyright 2005 Juneau Audubon.
Revised: July 1, 2005.