Wednesday, December 30, 2015 Seward CBC Count Week Day One

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 10:02 am, sunset 3:58 pm for a total daylight of 5 hours and 56 minutes. Tomorrow will be 1 minute and 41 seconds longer.

Huge storm last night with strong south wind, lashing rain, and early morning rumbling, rolling thunder and lightning. High of 44ยบ, two degrees cooler than yesterday. The snow has rapidly melted or washed away except where snowplows packed it along the roadside, or city dump trucks piled it up next to the beach. The bare ground is once again available for birds to scavenge for seeds and invertebrates, but feeders are very active.

Squally today with diminished south wind; more rain in the forecast for the next week or so.

Today was the first day of the Seward Christmas Bird Count Week. I ventured out for a look and found 35 species. After focusing on dead and dying Murres for so long, it was a welcome change to see the wider world.

Highlights included a brief glimpse of about 20 SNOW BUNTINGS during one of the squalls; refinding Seward’s resident TRUMPETER SWAN family whose cygnets show even more white as they mature; a COMMON LOON in the boat harbor holding and swallowing what seemed to be a clump of mussels; active COMMON MURRES also in the boat harbor, snorkeling and diving; a BALD EAGLE flying with a large stick, presumably for a little home repair job; a NORTHERN SHRIKE clinging precariously to the top of a snag, jostled by the wind; the handsome drake HOODED MERGANSER closely attended by an adoring COMMON GOLDENEYE hen; a single GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH foraging on the ground far from feeders; and SURF SCOTERS surfing the impressive storm waves close to shore.

Tasha reported finding seven storm-tossed CRESTED AUKLETS in the bay, 6 by Thumb Cove and one about a half mile south of Seward yesterday. I looked for it today without success. If refound during the CBC period, that would be a phenomenal first! The southerly winds and wild storms could make for a very interesting CBC this Saturday!

Snow Bunting
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Pelagic Cormorant
Northwestern Crow
American Dipper
Harlequin Duck
Bald Eagle
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye
Horned Grebe
Pine Grosbeak
Glaucous-winged Gull
Mew Gull
Steller’s Jay
Dark-eyed Junco, Slate-colored
         Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon
Common Loon
Black-billed Magpie
Common Merganser
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Murre
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Rock Pigeon
Common Raven
Common Redpoll
Gray-crowned Rosy-finch
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Northern Shrike
Pine Siskin
Song Sparrow
Trumpeter Swan
Downy Woodpecker

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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