I'm in Homer Alaska at the beautiful Seaside Farm that has amazing birding just here.
On day four of the trip, I headed from Cooper Landing down here to Homer and did a beautiful dirt road along the way along which I added a new life bird, Pacific Loon! There was a pair on a pond. Once I got here to Seaside Farm where I'm staying I walked along the beach of Kachemak Bay on the pond and while scanning out on the water for ducks and such I came across a raft of ducks..Black Scoters! That was also a life bird.
Yesterday, day five I birded around the area but did not manage any year birds.
Today was the jackpot though - oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!! I went out with Karl Stoltzfus who does birding trips from his boats on the Kachemak Bay to an amazing bird rookery, Gull Island. Right as we left the dock I almost immediately got a life bird, as Karl pointed out nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes. Right after he pointed those out he said something like "there goes a Horned Puffin!" and we got good looks as it flew around. Amazing as that's not a sure bird on his trips! Soon there after we got Common Murres, another life bird for me. We continued on and we soon spotted one of my so long wanted life birds, Pigeon Guillemot and got great looks. We then arrived at Gull Island and the birds were everywhere. Black-legged Kittiwakes, kittiwakes, kittiwakes, kittiwakes, everywhere! Mixed in were cormorants, mostly Pelagic and some Red-faced Cormorants, Red-faced being an awesome life bird. Some Red-faceds were on nests. Karl told me all the things distinguishing the 2 as I'm by no means a cormorant expert:) Here for me the best bird was Tufted Puffins, and in fairly good numbers. Just amazing birds! I got both pacific puffin species! Karl also does water taxi so we had to go pick up some people and Karl said that near there there was a chance for Marbled Murrelet and indeed, we got lucky and they were there, a chick and an adult breeding plumage! It finally became time to go back but Karl said that there may be Wandering Tattlers near the dock which would be a life bird. In almost no time, 3 flew by! THANKS Karl for this amazing experience!
If you're ever coming to Homer Alaska and want to go on a birding trip OR go on a trip to Kachemak Bay State Park or other locations and need a water taxi, use Karl - he's awesome! His website is: http://www.xyz.net/~bay/
What an amazing first pelagic trip...