Friday, January 20, 2012 McKay's Buntings!

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report on the road to Homer

On the journey to Homer, I detoured to the beach at Ninilchik to stretch and walk the dog. The first thing I noticed was the beach rye grass poking out of the snow in the day use area. The second thing was a small group of BUNTINGS riding the seed heads to the ground. Almost incidentally, I did notice the spectacular scenery featuring rugged snowy volcanoes across Cook Inlet. I slipped into my winter gear as the north wind was brisk, and grabbed my cameras and binocs.

I eased past the five Buntings to get the sun behind me, then turned and started clicking away. Two of the group (40%!) were stunningly white McKAY'S BUNTINGS! By walking slowly, at times sinking past my knees in the soft snow, I managed to get quite close. The plucky birds left interesting, erratic tracks, pushing through the light snow like little plows.

The two McKay's posed together at times, but seemed to mingle freely with the other 3 SNOW BUNTINGS. What a show!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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