Tuesday, September 24, 2014 Songbirds and Dowitchers

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 7:47 am, sunset 7:49 pm, for a total day length of 12 hours and 2 minutes.
This should be Seward's Fall Equinox! Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 25 seconds shorter.

Last night's clear skies did not linger and soon the clouds returned. After a chilly start with areas of light frost, it was a calm, mild day, with highs in the mid 50s and sprinkles.

The neighborhood SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS are dining well on migrating FOX SPARROWS, with two documented strikes today. Many more songbirds, including VARIED THRUSHES, ROBINS, HERMIT THRUSHES, and FOX SPARROWS, are dying from window strikes, a very sad and avoidable situation. Check out
< http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1184> for suggestions.

I found four DOWITCHERS today, feeding steadily in the rich wetlands at the head of the bay. They watched me, but did not seem to mind my camera or me. I am not sure which species or age they are; if anyone can identify them please let me know.

Update: Thanks to Sadie Ulman for identifying these as juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS. 

Also of note, a juvenile BALD EAGLE feeding on a freshly killed NORTHERN PINTAIL, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, a few AMERICAN PIPITS, and 5 LAPLAND LONGSPURS flying overhead, First of Fall.

In town, I checked for the Western Tanagers without success, but I did relocate the CEDAR WAXWING feeding on Mt Ash berries in the yard of the former Forest Service house on Fifth and A Street with several VARIED THRUSHES and ROBINS.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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