Tuesday, November 22, 2011 Redwing update

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 Redwing update

Seward, Alaska

In brief: the REDWING was spotted again today for the eighth day in a row, in the same place by the row of trees along the fence between the second and third house at Lowell Point beach.

The blizzard shut down school buses from Girdwood to Anchorage this morning, but spared Seward and the 55 mph winds that were forecast. Temps dropped to 9ยบ with blowing snow from a brisk north wind around 20-30 mph in the am. Ghostly sea smoke obscured the bay and streamed around a waiting tug and barge as the warmer ocean reluctantly released its heat to the frigid air. The winds diminished by late afternoon as a light snow began to fall.

I raked up another 5-gallon bucket of frozen Mt Ash berries from some town trees for the Redwing. It's getting harder to find whole ones and many have been de-seeded. It's lucky that pine grosbeaks prefer the seeds and spit out the pulp, whereas the Redwing eats the whole fruit. At least it will get a little snack if the crows and magpies don't eat them all first. I tossed the berries along the whole fence line to spread out the competition.

On the way back, I stopped to watch an adult BALD EAGLE rip into a fresh duck dinner laid out on a piling without benefit of tablecloth or cutlery. Its deadly yellow talons anchored the feast firmly. Wow. No delicate table manners here either! A MAGPIE danced around just out of reach of that deadly beak, hoping for scraps. Another adult eagle flew in and perched at a barely respectful distance. It too had blood on its forehead, evidence of a recent meal. Maybe it was still hungry or just enjoyed being part of the royal dining ambiance.

Robin C watched a PEREGRINE FALCON chase pigeons by seafood processing plant on the north side of the harbor around noon today, and saw a PACIFIC LOON in the harbor.

Of special note over the past few days: Tasha reported 2 CEDAR WAXWINGS feeding with BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS at Lowell Point. On Sunday, Luke, Nick, and Wendy found a THAYER'S GULL hanging out with the mallards at the Lowell Point Sewage Lagoon. Peregrine Joe spotted a GLAUCOUS GULL and has an OREGON JUNCO at his feeder.

Watch for a few more Oregon juncos with the DARK-EYED JUNCOS and the TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE reported by Scott H by the hospital on First Ave. Luke et al also found a single GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH with the numerous PINE GROSBEAKS along Second Ave.

Yes, Seward does have a few birds besides the REDWING!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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