Friday, February 1, 2013 Siberian Accentor still here

Overcast today, in the low 30s, calm, scattered showers in the morning increasing by mid-afternoon.

Birders from Tennessee and Texas and a couple birders from Anchorage arrived today to seek The Bird. The two Tennessee birders caught an identifying glimpse of the SIBERIAN ACCENTOR in the morning. The two from Texas, Lucie and Nick, missed it by scant minutes, and patiently watched and waited in the rain and decreasing light at various hot spots until 2:30 when it was again refound. I was lucky to get several quick photos of it through a fence, eating suet on the ground. 

The Bird was in the company of several WHITE-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, also feeding on suet crumbs that had fallen from the feeders. It easily spooked up into the overhanging spruce boughs by STELLER JAYS flying past with peanuts to plant, a feral black rabbit foraging under the spruce hedge, people walking past on the street, just about anything.

Nick and Lucie were just around the corner, so I dashed over and called them to come. As fast as they could walk on the slick ice, they were soon in place, hope renewed. After whispering careful directions on where to stand and see The Bird, I had to leave.

Of all things, a loud, scary fuel truck arrived a few minutes after the eager, cautious, and quiet birders were in position. It probably scared away every bird within a block. What bad timing!

Luckily, the daring duo was not discouraged, but waited patiently for the truck to finish its job and leave. In a minute, The Bird was back! They watched it for about 3 minutes, then it disappeared. Fifteen minutes later it was preening in a spruce about 15' up. Needless to say, they were ecstatic, having enjoyed views from all angles. They left about 3:40. 

Its main habitat so far, seems to be spruce undergrowth where there is bare ground to search for insects and grubs and places to hide quickly. I'm glad to know that it will eat suet found on the ground. The fat should get it through yet another winter night.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

PS The BRAMBLING which proved elusive all day, showed up at 4 pm at Ground Zero in the mid-400 block, right where it's been seen daily. Where was it when everyone was looking?

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