Friday, December 21, 2012 Count Week Day 3

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

Sunrise 10:01 am, sunset 3:51 pm, length of day 5 hours, 49 minutes; tomorrow will be zero minutes and 10 seconds LONGER. How about that! Happy Solstice!

Weather: As hoped, the wind and seas did calm down, but so did the temperature, plunging to 8ยบ. The Winter Solstice Sun shone brightly, illuminating the golden wisps of steam dancing down the bay. The clouds are forecast to move in this weekend bearing gifts of snow and sleet. We shall see!

A few more species were added to Count Week today, on this beautiful first official day of winter. Kit and Janet added the HAIRY WOODPECKER, and found a Northern Goshawk in a tree near Japanese Creek and Ash Street. It could be the same one they saw at Tonsina and then across the bay on Nash Road. If so, it sure is a traveler!  Jim scored on a pair of MARBLED MURRELETS in the SMIC boat basin.

Kit, Janet, and Peregrine Joe found a real treat, a YELLOW-BILLED LOON along the Greenbelt. Note: yesterday Kit also found the HOODED MERGANSER for Count Week.

It was easy to add CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES in town. Fearing Homer's lack of success finding a simple MALLARD, I made sure to check the beaches along Lowell Point and was not disappointed. Many were dabbling at the tide's edge and standing among the kelp-strewn rocks at mid-low tide.

At 12:58, just 10 minutes before the sun slipped behind the mountains, I finally refound the BRAMBLING! eating Mt Ash berries. I managed to get a photo much like my first one, peeking out behind a curtain of branches and dead leaves. He was feeding in the company of DARK-EYED JUNCOS and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. A small group of about 7 PINE SISKINS popped up as well. I sure hope we can find at least one Brambling tomorrow!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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