Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Long-tailed Duck and Kingfisher

Seward, Alaska

Today could not have been more uniformly gray from the sky down to the ocean. Temps hovered around 33, resulting in snow one moment and rain the next.

Floating on the calm gray bay by the SMIC boat basin, I found a gorgeous, LONG-TAILED DUCK with a dashing long tail. Where was his lady to admire this magnificence? Nowhere nearby, so I did.

A patient and illiterate BELTED KINGFISHER perched on a handy no trespassing sign, looking for dinner, not ducks. Six HORNED GREBES drifted past, seemingly suspended in the gray world. A PELAGIC CORMORANT preened on a piling while three BARROW’S GOLDENEYES inspected the sides.

Over at Fourth of July Beach, one COMMON LOON dove far from shore. A smattering of SURF SCOTERS, HORNED GREBES, and HARLEQUINS paddled and dove from the cold rain to the warmer ocean. A single juvie GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL floated placidly near the beach. All in all, pretty quiet.

Back in town, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was reported from the Clearview neighborhood behind Safeway. The recent TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE is being elusive.

Closer to home, my alley this morning was alive with a dozen or more ROBINS, a few VARIED THRUSHES, some singing weakly, PINE GROSBEAKS, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, JUNCOS, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.

Out at Lowell Point Beach, there must be upwards of 200 PINE SISKINS hammering the alder seeds. When they fly, it looks like a swarm of bees.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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