Sunday, March 31, 2013 Lapland Longspurs!

Seward Sporadic Bird Report

Sunrise 7:24 am, sunset 8:40 pm, for 13 hours and 16 minutes of daylight. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 30 seconds longer.

Weather: cloudy skies split asunder to shower warm sunshine for a change! Temperatures in the high 30s and calm. It was a beautiful spring day.

Easter brought more than chocolate bunnies and colored eggs! This morning, I heard the distinctive sharp whistles and creaks of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS next door. It was difficult to find more than a few hidden high in the spruce boughs, but recently 30 were counted in a yard in Forest Acres.  Over at the hotspot feeder, one AMERICAN TREE SPARROW joined the COMMON REDPOLLS, PINE SISKINS, and VARIED THRUSHES gleaning spilled Nyjer and other birdseed from the snow. Still no sign of the ACCENTOR, and the BRAMBLINGS are hiding as well.

Out at the tidelands, several 100 gulls including GLAUCOUS-WINGED, HERRING, (probably some hybrids), MEW, and BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES raised a ruckus for no apparent reason, except perhaps they were excited about Spring!

The graceful SHORT-EARED OWL cruised over the salt marsh meadow, scanning for voles, its broad wings in contrast to the narrow gull wings. Suddenly I heard a different bird sound and tracked it to some driftwood and dried beach rye grass. Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS walked along the log, half-hidden by the grasses. One popped into the open, posed, then both flew past to land in another grass clump. I hope they found some seeds or marine invertebrates to eat after their long journey.

March 22: A PIGEON GUILLEMOT in breeding plumage reported by Lowell Point Road. Ravens are starting to nest.
March 28: I found a male BELTED KINGFISHER at Stash and Store Pond. This is another sign of spring as they have been very scarce all winter. The GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH population doubled to two, an unusually low number.
March 29: A few more PIGEON GUILLEMOTS reported from Fox Island and BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES feeding on bait balls.
March 30: Three GREAT-BLUE HERONS on rocks by harbor, year-round residents, but great to see anytime.

Soon the trickle of spring will increase to a flood, just like the melting ice and snow. Welcome, Spring!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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