Date: August 4, 2013
Tonight’s Location: Homer, AK
Weather: mostly cloudy, showers
Temperature: start 56º
Wildlife count: Sea Otter, Moose & Calf, Coho Salmon
Year List: 260
Birds: White-winged, Black & Surf Scoters, Common Loon, Arctic Terns, Black-legged Kittiwake, Glaucous-winged & Herring Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Greater Yellowlegs, Belted Kingfisher, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Black Turnstones, Surfbirds, Semi-palmated Plovers, Brandt’s Geese, Black-billed Magpie, Bonaparte’s Gull, Bald Eagle, Common Raven, Arctic Terns, Common Loon, Northwestern Crows.
Breakfast was at our favorite place, The Duncan House Café. Afterwards, we birded out on the spit and saw a bunch of Arctic Terns and rafts of all three kinds of Scoters. We were almost late to worship, for watching birds! Communion was celebrated in the service and it was wonderful worship, as usual.
The drizzle stopped and we headed for Anchor Point, with a detour up North Fork road to a stop along the Anchor River, where we saw loads of salmon working their way up the river to spawn, as well as a Belted Kingfisher. A couple from Nova Scotia stopped to see what we were looking at and they were thrilled with the views.
Once at Anchor Point, we walked along the shoreline and the rocks began to move! They were Surfbirds and Black Turnstones – just the color and size of the Greywackie rocks. They were asleep, but when they awoke, the ‘rocks’ moved. There were many of them! It was fun trying to find them. Bald Eagles moved in and everything scattered. Several different kinds of gulls were present, and it was interesting to attempt to identify them.
Once we started home, the drizzle began again. Since we had skipped lunch, we had dinner early – grilled salmon, rice with fresh red & orange peppers, onions, zucchini and pattypan squash (from Marianne) in teriyaki. It was light and delicious.
We had a request for a photo of the 3 eaglets in the nest in town, so we took a short ride, and all 3 obliged us and stood up. What a treat. It is really unusual for more than one eaglet to survive per nest. The chicks of eagles do not hatch on the same day, as the female lays the eggs on different days and then immediate incubates when the first egg is laid, giving one chick a head start. Usually, that first born either grows much faster and the other chick starves, or the older one kills the younger two. However, here in Homer, there must be plenty of food to sustain all of the chicks, and all three are quite healthy and are exercising their wings. Their mother incubated them for 30 days, and it will take at least 70 days before they fledge, or will fly away. So, looking at them up there, it would seem like they are really bored sitting in that nest for months on end!
We watched a video for the rest of our evening.