This year’s Talkeetna -Trapper Creek Birdathon, an annual local twenty-four-hour birding quest, was held last Friday and Saturday. It was postponed a week due to wintry conditions at the end of April, but after the last couple weeks of warm weather, birders enjoyed warm sunshine and nearly snow-free travel for the event.
Though a number of birders were out of town, this year’s participants tallied a total of sixty-two species. The birder with the longest list was Jim Trump, with 46 species. Kathy Trump helped him bring home the crown with her knowledge of bird song identification. Several others’ lists came within a couple birds of the winners.
No new species were added this year, and there were several notable avian absences, like Tundra Swans and Belted Kingfishers. Five different sparrows were sighted, but few raptors. There were other blanks in the duck and sandpiper departments, but Cari Sayre identified a Solitary Sandpiper, Howard Carbone heard a Saw-whet Owl, and the Trumps spotted a group of Whimbrels. 2009 wasn’t the most memorable Birdathon for most, but none of the birders at the beach fire expressed disappointment with their day of spring birding.