Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Black Guillemot!
Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 9:56 pm, sunset 3:49 pm for a total day length of 5 hours and 53 minutes. Tomorrow will be 1 minute and 4 seconds shorter.

Another foot of snow arrived overnight! The trees are sagging under the weight as plows worked hard to clear the streets. A short snowstorm hit at noon hour, and then miraculously, the clouds cleared off to reveal a smiling crescent moon sailing across an unreal deep blue sky.

I received the call from Tasha during the noon hour snowstorm. Did I want to see a BLACK GUILLEMOT release? Of course!

Earlier today, the high arctic alcid, apparently blown off course by the huge western storm, managed to hit the Alaska Sealife Center overlook window. Of all places! The capable and surprised staff recognized the unusual white guillemot with black markings and quickly took it in. Fortunately, it was unharmed and a hearty eater. Stuffed with fish, it was ready to go back to the ocean.

Or not really ready. The staff had to take it out of the little crate and place it on the snowy deck. It sat there in the stinging snowstorm, perhaps wishing it was back in rehab eating silversides. Then it spread its wings, splashed down into the bay, and started paddling. I asked Tasha if it was OK, listing from one side to the other. She said the crop full of fish threw off its balance. A good problem to have!

We all hope this remarkable bird will find good company and lots of fish until it can somehow find its way back to the arctic. If we’re lucky, maybe it will be a first for our Seward Christmas Bird Count.

Here's a big thank you to the Alaska Sealife Center staff for rescuing this cool bird!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

No comments:

Post a Comment