Thursday, November 24, 2011 Redwing yes! and Homer report

Yes, the REDWING was again seen today in Seward, but I was on the road to Homer, Alaska.

I was fortunate to ramble about Homer for about an hour on Thanksgiving Day. I headed out East End Road to seek the extensive Mt Ash trees on Fernwood. A cloud of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS arrived just as I did, but were nervous and whirred away before I could turn the car around. I soon discovered the source of their apprehension. Across the open field, sitting at the top of a spruce, I spotted a light morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. It perched there just like the many adult Bald Eagles I had passed, but instead of a pure white head, it sported a streaky brown and white head and cape. The hawk swiveled its head frequently, checking all around. Suddenly, a feral pheasant cock exploded into the field, a gorgeous adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK right on its tail. Suddenly the goshawk veered upwards to dive bomb the peaceful Rough-legged hawk. They both took off and soon vanished, a beautiful sight against the pearly gray sky.

A short time later on the way back, I screeched to the side of the road. What luck! A HAWK OWL perched near the top of an alder, peering all around, looking and hunting, then dove into the grassy field and disappeared. I hope it enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving feast!

On Friday, November 25, 100s of ROCK SANDPIPERS swooped over the Spit road in front of my car, flowing in a tight black and white pattern like a swarm of bees as the thundering surf boiled and spat onto the road. A large raft of BLACK SCOTERS gathered just outside the surf zone. Also spotted a PACIFIC LOON, a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, RED-NECKED GREBES, and COMMON MERGANSERS. ROSY FINCHES flitted in the beach rye. A SONG SPARROW sat on a dumpster with NORTHWESTERN CROWS.

Back in town, another adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK sailed over houses just as we were leaving.

No luck looking for the Great Gray Owls on Adkins Road at Mile 77 Sterling Highway on the way home, but it was nice to know they were there. It was fun to find birders there too, none other than my neighbors Peregrine Joe, Mary, his sister, and Robin C.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Reporter Reporter on the road

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