Friday, January 13, 2012 Breakfast at dawn

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

Sunrise 9:49 am, (over the mountains at 10:23 am), sunset 4:23 pm, length of day 6 hours, 33 minutes; tomorrow will be 3 minutes and 40 seconds longer.

Weather: Brrrr! Beautiful, cold, clear, and icy today; temperatures plunged to low teens. A biting 24 mph north wind with gusts to 33 mph blasted down the bay and through town, cracking icy armor off swaying, protesting branches; gauzy snow streamers swirled from every mountain peak. The bright sun provided heat as false as the "amazing, miraculous" electric heaters advertised in the media.

I ventured outside in the rosy predawn around 10 am. Immediately, I heard a sharp "ching" against the fence exclosure around my bird feeder. I peered into the shadows under the spruce thicket and spied breakfast underway nearby. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK readjusted its taloned grip on a slightly smaller VARIED THRUSH lying prone on the snow. Unwilling to be observed, the hawk hauled off its prize with difficulty to a more secluded spot to finish dining in private.

Throughout the day, I glimpsed a NORTHERN GOSHAWK flashing over the neighborhood and my yard; a clump of gray feathers blew across the snow. Junco? Hunger perches silently in the spruce, danger sails boldly on the wind.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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