Seward counted a phenomenal 69 species on Count Day, Saturday, December 27, 2014.
The most unexpected bird was a WESTERN SCREECH OWL perched quietly in a spruce tree. It was first found by mobbing kinglets and chickadees, then by astute birders Toby and Laura Burke while looking for the Killdeer at Afognak Beach around 2 pm. Subsequent birders refound it around 3 pm. Searching later that evening and the next day was unsuccessful.
Many other species were singulars including a surprise BRAMBLING, MERLIN, PEREGRINE FALCON, and SPRUCE GROUSE. The known PURPLE FINCH, STELLER’S EIDER, THAYER’S GULL, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, EUROPEAN STARLING, HOODED MERGANSER, and TRUMPETER SWAN family counted.
The highest count was 855 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, which were found almost everywhere there were spruce cones, in contrast to last year when they were scarce.
Count Week added a NORTHERN GOSHAWK, GADWALL, PACIFIC WREN and KILLDEER, with one day to go.
I will post a complete summary when all the data has been submitted.
Many thanks to all the participants, many of whom drove from out of town to assist, and to Captain Mike Brittain who once again generously donated the use of his boat, the Dora, fuel, and navigation skills to survey the bay.
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter and Seward CBC Compiler