Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Single Sandhill and Six Cygnets

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 4:53 am, sunset 10:57 pm for a total day length of 18 hours and 03 minutes. Tomorrow will be 3 minutes and 45 seconds longer.
Sunny skies rocketed the thermometer to 67ยบ this afternoon, tempered by a strong south wind. The forecast predicts sunshine until next Tuesday (!) with steadily rising temperatures into the high 70s, a heat wave for Seward. Summer is already upon us.

“I hear a crane!” Much to my amazement, a single SANDHILL CRANE flew high overhead from the north. Its occasional bugling cries sounded so sad. I wonder why it is not with its buddies? Hopefully, it will get turned around and head back north soon.

More excitement over at the Nash Road mile 1 wetlands: The TRUMPETER SWAN eggs hatched sometime over the weekend. Their most excellent mother sat on her nest incubating the eggs through April’s snows, heavy rain, and hail. At times, she looked exhausted, lying prone, neck outstretched, wilted.. The expectant dad hovered nearby, always guarding.

Her diligent efforts were so worthwhile! Now, six extremely cute, snow-white cygnets paddle after their stately parents, learning how to find food. All the swans seem to relish the water horsetails and the insects clinging to the stalks. The babies mill about when either parent goes tail-up and their long neck and head disappear underwater. Good trick, dad! It will be fun to watch this new family grow.

As we were leaving, we spotted a moose standing alongside the road ahead. We pulled forward and parked. It crossed right behind the car and vanished quickly into the willows. Magic and wonder abounds!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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