Marches are fun. They are great exercise, a fun community social activity, and on Jan. 20 in Homer, we are planning a celebration march for the anniversary of our huge Women’s March last January which included at least 800 participants here. Some of our folks were young, some old (actually some very young and some very old), some with disabilities, men and women, rich and not-so-rich, different faiths, different ethnicities, but all of us were part of our wonderful Homer community.
Forty-two volunteers participated in Homer’s annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, five watching feeders in their own yard and the others out in the field.
The weather was not too cooperative with icy walking, limited visibility for most of the day and resulting decreased available daylight hours, but many were expressing the same thought, “We’ve seen much worse!”
A total of 64 species were seen on the Count Day (Saturday, Dec. 17).
A red-breasted sapsucker was found up Spencer Street on Saturday’s Christmas Bird Count. A rare bird for Homer — only having been seen once or twice here previously — this was a significant find by Aaron Lang and his team covering the north side of East End Road. A spectacular, red Christmas-y bird.
Other notable birds included an Anna’s hummingbird, ancient murrelet and white-throated sparrow.
The Christmas Bird Count is a very special day for birders. One whole day devoted to birding — sunup to sundown, working in a team to count all the birds in the Homer area. Then, after dark, meeting with the other participants to compile what was seen. Finally a big, warm potluck meal further increases the enjoyment of the day as the joys of birding are celebrated and all are nourished in body and spirit.
Homer’s citizens and visitors encompass a wide spectrum of beach users: dog walkers, quiet seekers, coal collectors, off-road vehicle drivers, kayakers, paddle boarders, fat-tire bikers, picnickers, wave-watchers, painters, tide-poolers, birders, educational and recreational class attendees, and the many other user groups I likely forgot.
Homer’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count was held Dec. 20, and it was a beautiful, warm, calm day. There were 67 species seen that day and an additional eight species recorded for the Count Week (three days before and three days after).
A total of almost 9,500 birds were counted. The final report is on the Kachemak Bay Birder’s website at kachemakbaybirders.org.
I don’t believe many people realize that the city is proposing to allow helicopter facilities in the commercial lands along Kachemak Drive, in the Marine Industrial land out on the Spit, and in the Bridge Creek Watershed Protection District.
The Kachemak Bay Birders would like to thank the following list of donors for providing wonderful prizes for our Big Spit PLUS Challenge birding event at the Shorebird Festival: Bay Excursions, Gary Lyon, Kachemak Crane Watch, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, Captain’s Coffee, Cosmic Kitchen, Two Sisters, Don Jose’s and Fat Olives.