Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Steller's Eider male

Seward, Alaska

The young drake STELLER'S EIDER is still in Resurrection Bay, now on the west side at Lowell Point. Robin C spotted him yesterday by Miller's Landing, and I refound him today.

As at Fourth of July Beach, where he was first spotted on August 6th, he is hanging out with HARLEQUIN DUCKS, feeding voraciously at the intertidal zone.

Back in August, the Harlequins were in eclipse plumage, very drab, and flightless. Now they have completed their fall molt; the males in their characteristic colorful finery, the females sport white round earrings. The dramatic change to his friends does not seem to affect the eider.

Squalls of heavy rain continue. Last night shortly after 11 pm a brilliant flash of lightning lit up the sky. Six seconds later, (*about a mile away) rolling, powerful thunder rumbled down Resurrection Bay for many long thrilling seconds. Seward rarely has lighting and thunder; I'm glad I was up and out in the rain, walking the dogs. The young one did not care for this unusual weather phenomenon in the least and walked us briskly back to the safety of home.
In other news, Mt Ash trees all over town are magnets for multitudes of ROBINS and VARIED THRUSHES. A single drake SURF SCOTER has been at Fourth of July beach for the past week or more, all alone. SANDHILL CRANES were reported flying high overhead yesterday, heading into the storm.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

*In case it ever happens again, to estimate the distance to the lightning, start counting the number of seconds as soon as you see the flash and stop when you hear thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five to get the distance in miles.

No comments:

Post a Comment