Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Kingfisher and blowing snow

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Kingfisher and blowing snow

Seward, Alaska

Clear skies today meant cooler temps in the 20s rising to 30s, and sunshine. Apparently the price to pay was wind and lots of it, barreling through from the north, at 13-26 mph with gusts to 34 mph. The spectacular scenery all around grabbed my attention, every mountain a shining sculpture, the wind whipping snow into streamers off every ridge and peak.

I found a plucky young female KINGFISHER clinging to the thick cable line at the Lagoon with her tiny feet. She peered diligently into the water as the wind played with her rakish crest then dove with a big splash and returned to the perch. At one point, she gagged big time, and coughed up something. I have never observed this before, and it makes me wonder if Kingfishers have pellets like owls, or just occasional rejections of foreign objects… She blew downwind, leaving the Lagoon to the quarrelsome MALLARDS.

Late last night, I heard a SAW-WHET OWL beeping very faintly in the mountains. I wonder if he’ll be courting tonight over the roar of the wind, under the alluring stars.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

Update: Chris Maack noted that any bird that has indigestible material in its gizzard can cast a pellet. She speculated that kingfishers might make pellets out of fish scales. That would be an interesting find! Thanks, Chris.

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