Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Pacific Loon, Swans, and Magpie with flat fish

Seward, Alaska

After days of rain punctuated by torrential cloudbursts mixed with sn’rain, the precipitation finally stopped this afternoon. BALD EAGLES seized the opportunity to perch with their wings hung out to dry. Mixed flocks of passerines emerged to seek soggy invertebrates and cold insects on tree branches: DOWNY WOODPECKER, CHESTNUT BACKED CHICKADEES, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, JUNCOS, and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, PINE GROSBEAKS, and PINE SISKINS feasted on freshly washed Mt Ash berries. At least one VARIED THRUSH called with a convincing spring song. CROSSBILLS flocked overhead.

I spied a PACIFIC LOON over at Fourth of July Beach, the first of the winter with its white throat and thin, dark necklace. A COMMON LOON drifted nearby. Three SURF SCOTERS, a dozen HORNED GREBES, HARLEQUIN DUCKS, PELAGIC CORMORANTS, and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS spread out in front, following small schools of fish.

A BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE flew past with a small flatfish, a flounder (?) for a feast. A staccato outburst alerted me to a DIPPER in the rushing stream.

The Nash Road wetlands has once again melted. The TRUMPETER SWAN family returned home to rest and feed.

Shortly after dawn yesterday, in a short interlude before the rain resumed and the wind kicked up, three BALD EAGLES soared overhead. One chittered to another in greeting. Soon another joined in, then another and another until there were seven eagles spiraling upwards, higher and higher. What a great way to start the day!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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