Date: May 12, 2013
Tonight’s Location: Homer, AK
Weather: mostly cloudy, drizzle
Temperature: start 44º
Wildlife count: Moose, Sea Otters,
Year List: 218; Life List: 353
Birds: Hermit Thrush, Ring-necked Pheasant, Hudsonian Godwit, Western Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Dunlins, Black-bellied Plover, Sandhill Cranes, Greater Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitchers,
We began the morning with breakfast at the Methodist Church, served by the Alaska State Park rangers and UM Men. We were at work at the Chamber office by 8am for registration and served until 10:30, when we went to the Visitor’s Center to work on the Junior Birding Lab. John was outdoors working the Migration Headache game, and I worked with children outdoors using binoculars to locate birds (pictures of birds that we had hidden on sticks, near the pond, or in bushes. The kids had a great time, and there were as many (30-40) kids as there had been on Wednesday. (Marianne had assured us that there would be very few, but the kids returned to do it again and had a ball!) We have been extremely impressed with how many activities in this festival are set up for children and families – well over half, so a family can be actively involved the entire 4 days.
We ate our picnic lunch in the car in the parking lot of the high school, so we could be in time to peruse the booths and exhibits in the auditorium there. In the theater, we attended several talks, including our favorite, Phillip Hoose, author of Moonbird, the story of the migration of the Red Knot, a bird that has flown farther than the distance from here to the moon in its twenty year life, hence the name Moonbird. I had read the book at Padre, and used the concepts in the campground talk, so we truly appreciated his insights.
As soon as he was done, we left for our duty station, which was out on the platform with our scopes, where we spoke with over one hundred people and shared our scope. It began to drizzle just as we were wrapping up, so we stayed dry.
Dinner was a large pulled-pork (our home smoked) quesadilla, with cheese, our own BBQ sauce, and sour cream. We left dishes for later and hurried back to the high school for the keynote address given by Jeff Gordon, president of the American Birding Association, which was very interesting.
Although it is not dark at 9:30, we are beat and are headed for bed. We got one lifer today, the Hudsonian Godwit – what a thrill!