Seward Christmas Bird Count Week Day ONE

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

December 21, 2011 Happy Solstice!!!
Sunrise 10:01 am, sunset 3:50 pm, length of day 5 hours, 49 minutes; tomorrow will be 2 seconds LONGER!!

Weather: After a horrendous day of cold rain and sleet driven by a south wind on Tuesday, today dawned clear as if asking forgiveness for that little mishap. A bright fingernail moon hung in the pale morning sky, the last of the dazzling lunar moon.

By mid-day, however the dark clouds swept in from their lair over the Gulf of Alaska. The low sun valiantly tried to smile but was soon buried in the snow squall. At least it wasn't liquid! More snow, high winds, and temps dropping to the teens are forecast for the rest of the week.

37 species were found today. Highlights include a red interior FOX SPARROW, several TREE SPARROWS, nine GADWALL, and two LAPLAND LONGSPURS. Also spotted: LONGTAIL DUCKS, HOODED MERGANSER, three GREAT BLUE HERONS, BELTED KINGFISHER, BROWN CREEPERS, and DIPPER.

A dead MURRE washed up on Lowell Point Beach. It felt underweight. Also spotted, a quick, curious, and very, very cute weasel. Not sure if it's a least or short-tailed.

A WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN was reported yesterday by Lowell Creek waterfall.  The quick thinking driver provided camera phone photos for verification. Perhaps the rainstorm drove it to town, or it needed gravel for its crop. Tough to spot such a white bird against the snow!

The birds really appreciate well-stocked feeders to survive these long cold nights and squally days. Black oil sunflower seeds and suet blocks are the best basics. Niger seeds in special socks, peanut butter dipped in seed mix stuffed in a pine cone or hollowed out block, Mt Ash and Mayday Tree berries, and other treats are welcome gifts for our feathered friends and neighbors.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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