Arlene’s 2016 bird list

It must have been starting out my year on a birding trip with Jenny to the Salton Sea, Los Angeles area, and the central California coast, that made this a pretty productive year for me too! I took short trips to central western Michigan and Atlanta and spent the better part of a week in the Phoenix/Flagstaff area. Within Alaska, I had a short trip to Juneau, several day drives to Seward, one of which included a nine-hour cruise in the Kenai Fjords National Park (source of most of the alcids on my list.) I would have been well on the way to beating Jenny’s total (a miracle, that) with a November trip to Florida but unfortunately I had to cancel that.

Gila woodpecker at the Desert Botanical Garden in the ‘burbs of Phoenix, AZ.

33 life list additions, those have asterisks (*) in the full list below. The plus signs (+) after an entry means I saw that particular bird in Alaska as well as the lower 48. Intriguingly enough that includes a Eurasian collared dove about a block from my home in Anchorage (the third documented sighting of one in Anchorage!) during a local Audubon Society 24-hour birding contest (which I and my birding partner lost, abysmally, that story at another time),

Eurasian collared dove, March 2016, Anchorage.

and a (lifelist addition for me) common yellowthroat that was completely out of range hanging out at Potter Marsh on the south side of Anchorage and which I promptly saw again within the same exact week at the Otis Farm Sanctuary in central Michigan–but at least then I already knew how to identify it!

The life list additions were an eastern bluebird, Baltimore oriole, and indigo bunting (I know, this is the weird part of starting my birding life in Alaska) in Michigan; a fish crow in a suburb of Atlanta; a white-winged dove in Tempe; ash-throated flycatcher, ferruginous hawk, black-throated sparrow, Bendire’s thrasher, curvebilled thrasher, and blacktailed gnatcatcher in Phoenix; northern hawk owl and cackling geese–Aleutian and I think Taverners subspecies–in Anchorage; common ground dove, Abert’s towhee, Gila woodpecker, and Costa’s hummingbird in Brawley; a phainopepla and red shouldered hawk in Big Morongo Canyon, green heron at the Salton Sea; a golden-crowned kinglet (after years of hearing them I finally spotted two), pine siskin, and yellow-billed loon (albeit not close enough for me to identify) in Seward; pygmy nuthatch in Flagstaff; a Gambel’s quail, cactus wren, and greater roadrunner at the Desert Botanical Garden outside of Phoenix; a redbreasted sapsucker in Juneau; a white-throated swift at the Grand Canyon; verdin in Palm Desert; and a canyon wren in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.

I sometimes think about counting separate subspecies of certain birds individually. For example, I don’t know what subspecies of Canada goose I saw in Phoenix, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the Lesser we typically get here in Anchorage in summer which is different from the Dusky that nest on the Copper River delta outside of Cordova, AK (which I didn’t see this year but have seen in previous.) And I’m fairly sure I saw both the Taverner’s and the Aleutian subspecies of Cackling Geese, but then again, the differences are not necessarily within my identification capabilities. Plus, I’m someone who pretty much has to see a Canada goose and a cackling goose right next to each other for the size frame of reference so I know which I’m looking at, so maybe I should give up on the idea of counting them separately anyhow. At any rate, if you’re interested in the size difference between a Canada and Cackling, this might give you an idea (assuming my IDs are correct):

Lesser Canada goose left, cackling geese right. I think…

But here’s the whole 2016 list, if you want to slog your way through it, with the first date of spotting and the location.

  1. Auklet, parakeet (7/13 Chiswell Islands, AK)parakeetauklets
  2. Auklet, rhinoceros (7/13 Chiswell Islands, AK)
  3. Avocet, American (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  4. Blackbird, Brewer’s (1/27 Morro Bay, CA)
  5. Blackbird, redwinged (6/23 Grand Rapids, MI)
  6. Blackbird, rusty (5/7 Anchorage, AK)
  7. *Bluebird, eastern (6/24 Otis Farm Sanctuary, MI)
  8. Bluebird, western (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  9. Bufflehead (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)+
  10. *Bunting, indigo (6/24 Otis Farm Sanctuary, MI)
  11. Cardinal, northern (6/25 Grand Rapids, MI)
  12. Catbird, grey (6/25 Grand Rapids,  MI)
  13. Chickadee, black-capped (1/14 Anchorage, AK)
  14. Chickadee, boreal (2/4 Anchorage, AK)
  15. Chickadee, Carolina (8/1 Duluth, GA)
  16. Chickadee, chestnut-backed (1/28 Cambria, CA)+
  17. Collared dove, Eurasian (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  18. Coot, American (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  19. Cormorant, double-crested (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  20. Cormorant, pelagic (1/28 Cambria, CA)+
  21. Cormorant, red-faced (7/13 Resurrection Bay, AK)

    A blurry shot of a red-faced cormorant: I’m not so good with the focusing when I’m on a boat that’s bobbing on the ocean.
  22. Crane, sandhill (4/24 Anchorage, AK)
  23. Crow, American (1/24 Claremont, CA)
  24. *Crow, fish (7/31 Duluth, GA)
  25. Crow, northwestern (2/20 Seward, AK)
  26. Dipper, American (5/5 Anchorage, AK)
  27. Dove, mourning (1/25 Salton City, CA)
  28. *Dove, white-winged (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  29. Dowitcher, long-billed (5/13 Deep Creek, AK)
  30. Dowitcher, short-billed (5/27 Anchorage, AK)
  31. Duck, harlequin (2/20 Seward, AK)
  32. Duck, ring-necked (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  33. Duck, ruddy (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  34. Dowitcher, long-billed (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  35. Eagle, bald (1/12 Anchorage, AK)
  36. Eagle, golden (5/24 Anchorage, AK)
  37. Egret, great (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  38. Egret, snowy (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  39. Falcon, peregrine (heard 1/27 Morro Bay, CA)
  40. Finch, house (1/25 Salton Sea vicinity, CA)
  41. Flicker, northern (red-shafted, 1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  42. Flycatcher, alder (6/18 Anchorage, AK)
  43. *Flycatcher, ash-throated (4/11 Phoenix, AZ)
  44. Gadwall (4/3 Anchorage, AK)
  45. *Gnatcatcher, blacktailed (4/11 Phoenix, AZ)
  46. Godwit, Hudsonian (5/26 Anchorage, AK)
  47. Godwit, marbled (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)
  48. Goldeneye, Barrow’s (2/20 Seward, AK)
  49. Goldeneye, common (2/20 Seward, AK)
  50. Goldfinch, lesser (1/24 Claremont, CA)
  51. *Goose, Cackling (4/24 Anchorage, AK Aleutian and Taverner’s?)

    Aleutian subspecies of the cackling goose. The Aleutian subspecies often (always?) has the white line around the neck just above the brown of the chest.
  52. Goose, Canada (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  53. Grackle, common (1/24 Coachella, CA)
  54. Grackle, great-tailed (4/9 Phoenix, AZ)
  55. Grebe, eared (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  56. Grebe, horned (2/20 Seward, AK)
  57. Grebe, pied-billed (1/27 Morro Bay, CA)
  58. Grebe, rednecked (2/20 Seward, AK)
  59. Grebe, western (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  60. *Ground-dove, common (1/25 Brawley, CA)
  61. Grosbeak, pine (2/2 Anchorage, AK)
  62. Guillemot, pigeon (2/20 Seward, AK)
  63. Gull, Bonaparte’s (4/24 Anchorage, AK)
  64. Gull, California (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  65. Gull, glaucous winged (2/20 Seward, AK)
  66. Gull, Heermann’s (1/27 Morro Bay, CA)
  67. Gull, herring (2/20 Seward, AK)
  68. Gull, mew (2/20 Seward, AK)
  69. Gull, ring-billed (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  70. Gull, western (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  71. Harrier, Northern (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  72. *Hawk, ferruginous (4/11 Phoenix, AZ)
  73. *Hawk, red-shouldered (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  74. Hawk, red-tailed (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  75. Hawk, rough-legged (1/27 HWY 1 vicinity of San Luis Obispo, CA)
  76. Heron, great blue (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  77. *Heron, green (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  78. Hummingbird, Anna’s (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  79. *Hummingbird, Costa’s (1/25 Brawley, CA)
  80. Ibis, white-faced (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  81. Jay, Gray (5/30 Anchorage, AK)
  82. Jay, Steller (2/20 Seward, AK)
  83. Junco, dark-eyed (OR: 1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA, slaty: 2/20 Seward, AK)
  84. Kestrel, American (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  85. Killdeer (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  86. Kingbird, western (4/15 Oak Creek Canyon, AZ)
  87. Kingfisher, belted (2/20 Seward, AK)
  88. *Kinglet, golden-crowned (2/20 Seward, AK)
  89. Kinglet, ruby-crowned (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)+
  90. Kittiwake, black-legged (2/20 Seward, AK)
  91. Longspur, Lapland (5/13 Deep Creek, AK)
  92. Loon, common (7/10 Anchorage, AK)
  93. Loon, Pacific (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  94. Loon, red-throated (5/14 Anchorage, AK)
  95. *Loon, yellow-billed (2/20 Seward, AK)
  96. Magpie, common (1/18 Anchorage, AK)
  97. Mallard (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)+
  98. Merganser, common (2/20 Seward, AK)
  99. Merganser, red-breasted (1/28 Cambria, CA)+
  100. Mockingbird, northern (1/24 Coachella, CA)
  101. Murre, common (2/20 Seward, AK)
  102. Murre, thick-billed (7/13 Chiswell Islands, AK)
  103. Murrelet, Kittlitz’s (7/13 Northwestern Fjord, AK)
  104. Murrelet, marbled (5/7 Seward, AK)
  105. Night-heron, black crowned (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  106. *Nuthatch, pygmy (4/12 Flagstaff, AZ)
  107. Nuthatch, redbreasted (2/20 Seward, AK)
  108. *Oriole, Baltimore (6/23 MI)
  109. Osprey (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  110. *Owl, Northern Hawk (3/19 Anchorage, AK)
  111. Oystercatcher, black (1/28 Cambria, CA)
  112. Pelican, brown (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  113. *Phainopepla (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  114. Phalarope, rednecked (5/28 Anchorage, AK)
  115. Phoebe, black (1/25 Salton Sea vicinity, CA)
  116. Phoebe, Say’s (1/25 Salton Sea vicinity, CA)
  117. Pigeon, rock (1/1 Anchorage, AK)
  118. Pintail, Northern (4/3 Anchorage, AK)
  119. Pipit, American (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  120. Puffin, horned (7/13 Chiswell Islands, AK)
  121. Puffin, tufted (7/13 Chiswell Islands, AK)
  122. Quail, California (1/28 Cambria, CA)
  123. *Quail, Gambel’s (4/10 Desert Botanical Garden, AZ)
  124. Raven, common (1/1 Anchorage, AK)
  125. Redhead (5/27 Anchorage, AK)
  126. Redpoll, common (2/20 Seward, AK)
  127. *Roadrunner, greater (4/10 Desert Botanical Garden, AZ)
  128. Robin, American (1/25 Brawley, CA)+
  129. Sanderling (1/28 Cambria, CA)
  130. Sandpiper, least (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  131. Sandpiper, pectoral (5/24 Anchorage, AK)
  132. Sandpiper, solitary (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)+
  133. Sandpiper, spotted (5/14 Anchorage, AK)
  134. Sandpiper, western (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)+
  135. *Sapsucker, redbreasted (6/7 Juneau, AK)
  136. Scaup, lesser (4/3 Anchorage, AK)
  137. Scaup, greater (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  138. Scoter, black (2/20 Seward, AK)
  139. Scoter, Surf (1/27 Morro Bay, CA)+
  140. Scrub-jay, western (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  141. Shoveler, Northern (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)+
  142. Shrike, Northern (4/3 Anchorage, AK juvenile)+
  143. *Siskin, pine (2/20 Seward, AK)
  144. Snipe, Wilson’s (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  145. Solitaire, Townsend’s (4/14, Walnut Canyon, AZ)
  146. *Sparrow, black throated (4/11 Phoenix, AZ)
  147. Sparrow, chipping (6/25 Grand Rapids, MI)
  148. Sparrow, fox (1/26 Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, CA)+
  149. Sparrow, golden-crowned (1/28 Cambria, CA)
  150. Sparrow, house (1/25 Salton Sea vicinity, CA)
  151. Sparrow, Lincoln’s (1/28 Cambria, CA)+
  152. Sparrow, Savannah (5/28 Anchorage, AK)
  153. Sparrow, song (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)+
  154. Sparrow, white-crowned (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)+
  155. *Sparrow, white-throated (2/20 Seward, AK)
  156. Starling, European (1/25 Salton Sea vicinity, CA)+
  157. Stilt, black-necked (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  158. Surfbird (5/26 Anchorage, AK)
  159. Swallow, bank (Oak Creek Canyon, AZ)
  160. Swallow, barn (6/24 Otis Farm Sanctuary, MI)
  161. Swallow, cliff (4/10 Tempe, AZ)
  162. Swallow, tree (5/7 Anchorage, AK)
  163. Swan, mute (6/25 Grand Rapids, MI)
  164. Swan, Trumpeter (4/3 Anchorage, AK)
  165. *Swift, white throated (4/13 Grand Canyon, AZ)
  166. Teal, Cinnamon (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)
  167. Teal, green-winged (6/18 Anchorage, AK–earlier too but I forgot to note date)
  168. Tern, Arctic (4/24 Anchorage, AK)
  169. *Thrasher, Bendire’s (4/10 Phoenix, AZ)
  170. *Thrasher, curve-billed (4/11 Phoenix, AZ)
  171. Thrush, varied (5/7 Seward, AK)
  172. Thrush, hermit (5/12 Anchorage, AK)
  173. *Towhee, Abert’s (1/25 Brawley, CA)
  174. Towhee, California (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  175. Towhee, spotted (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  176. Turnstone, black (1/28 Cambria, CA)
  177. *Verdin (1/24 Palm Desert, CA)
  178. Vireo, Hutton’s (1/25 Brawley, CA)
  179. Vulture, turkey (1/24 Salton Sea, CA)
  180. Warbler, orange-crowned (1/25 Brawley, CA)+
  181. Warbler, yellow (4/15 Oak Creek Canyon, AZ)
  182. Warbler, yellow-rumped (1/25 Brawley, CA)+
  183. Waxwing, Bohemian (1/18 Anchorage, AK)
  184. Waxwing, cedar (6/24 Otis Farm Sanctuary, AK)
  185. Wigeon, American (4/24 Anchorage, AK)
  186. Willet (1/29 Playa Del Rey, CA)
  187. Woodpecker, downy (2/20 Seward, AK)
  188. *Woodpecker, Gila (1/25 Brawley, CA)
  189. Woodpecker, hairy (2/20 Seward, AK)
  190. Woodpecker, Nuttall’s (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  191. Wren, Bewick’s (1/26 Big Morongo Canyon, CA)
  192. *Wren, cactus (4/10 Desert Botanical Garden, AZ)
  193. *Wren, canyon (4/15 Oak Creek Canyon, AZ)
  194. Yellowlegs, greater (5/1 Anchorage, AK)
  195. Yellowlegs, lesser (4/24 Anchorage, AK)
  196. *Yellowthroat, common (6/18 Anchorage, AK)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s