Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ALASKA PENINSULA/BECHAROF: Refuge coordinatesthe King Salmon/Naknek International Migratory Bird Day Count
Alaska Region, May 28, 2010
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Volunteers spend the day birding in King Salmon and Naknek.
Volunteers spend the day birding in King Salmon and Naknek. - Photo Credit: n/a

Wow!  A great turn out of counters and a beautiful day to boot.  We could not have been more lucky. This was our thirteenth celebration of International Migratory Bird Day for at the Alaska Peninsula/Becharof NWR office; 26 people participated in the North American Migration Count.  We broke into four teams and counted from Lake Camp to the Kvichak shoreline in Naknek; this year a team floated the upper Naknek River.  Temperatures increased over the day and winds remained light.  Temperatures ranged from a low of 26° F to 60° F (24 hour period) according to the National Weather Service.  Teams drove approximately 51 miles (5.2 hr), walked or stood and birded another 5.2 miles (10 hr), and floated 8.3 miles (4.25 hr). 

Count numbers (3,3638 birds) were the lowest of any year, but we tied for the second highest number of species (77).  Wildlife Biologist, Susan Savage, will add the count data to e-bird via the www.birdday.org web page.  It looks like the warm day moved birds along on their migration and out of the local staging areas.  Generally, waterfowl numbers were lower than normal, both spruce grouse and willow ptarmigan were spotted (unusual), and a good variety of other waterbirds were spotted.  Only a few species of raptors were spotted.  Shorebirds numbers were lower than normal.  Gulls were not very numerous this year possibly because the herring fishery has not occurred providing food to concentrate gulls at the canneries.  A variety of the common songbird species were noted, but their numbers were low.  We added snow buntings to our species list this year.  We saw several marked swans.

Thanks especially to our team leaders: Rod Cyr, Richard Russell and Bob Blush and also to Mike Fitz, Kevin Payne and Carissa Turner for recruiting National Park Service employees to join us.  With such a large expanse of land to cover, the count would not have been comprehensive without help from all the volunteers who participated in the count.  Special thanks to all who came for helping to make International Migratory Bird Day 2010 a success.  For more information on the count, or birds in general, please contact Susan Savage at (907) 246-1205 or susan_savage@fws.gov.


Contact Info: Michael Brady, 907-246-1201, michael_brady@fws.gov
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