Sunday, April 24, 2016 Black Oystercatcher, DC Cormorants, peeps

Seward, Alaska

Such an exciting burst of Spring this past week!

In addition to the migrating geese, ducks, and cranes:
Wednesday, April 20: FOS BLACK OYSTERCATCHER napping at Fourth of July Creek.

Thursday, April 21: RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD reports increased after first report of a male at Salmon Creek Road on April 14. Next came a report of a male at Bear Lake, and Camelot. Then reports of a male at Ava’s, and in town on April 21. The first female was reported at Bear Lake on April 22.

Friday, April 22: FOS single DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT spotted sitting on B St piling, sporting its breeding plumage blousy, white eyebrows. The next day, I saw 8 perched on the pilings, preening and napping. A Gray Whale was reported right by the ASLC!

Saturday, April 23: A PEREGRINE FALCON shot out from the spruce trees at Lowell Point Beach State Recreation Site and headed north. Very unexpected and exciting! Tasha reported BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and 6 sandpipers, likely LEAST but too far to confirm, 100 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and CACKLING GEESE, and BONAPARTE’S GULLS at Afognak Beach tidelands and north.

FOS LEAST SANDPIPERS (6) discovered in the emerging wetland grasses at the head of the bay. I also caught a quick glimpse of a sparrow. A likely suspect is the Savannah Sparrow. ARCTIC TERN numbers up to 20 and starting courtship, parading tiny fish around.

Sunday, April 24: At least 6 MARBLED MURRELETS, still in winter plumage, and two PIGEON GUILLEMOTS in breeding plumage, dove along Lowell Point Road. Two COMMON MURRES, one in breeding plumage, (yea!) checked out the fish scraps alongside the numerous, noisy gulls by the seafood processing plant.

PACIFIC WRENS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, VARIED THRUSH, SONG SPARROWS, and FOX SPARROWS sang along the road in the spruce trees. I watched a SONG SPARROW collect long, thin fibers for her nest from the gravel alongside the road. It looked like whiskers! A STELLER’S JAY pair also worked on building a nest in a spruce tree.

A Harbor Porpoise arced quickly and quietly just offshore. A Sea Otter harvested mussels from the exposed intertidal rocks, diving in very shallow water, then popped up to crunch on the fresh mollusks. One of the four king salmon trollers caught a large Pacific cod and tossed it back.

Three dainty BONAPARTE’S GULLS paddled over to Scheffler Creek south of the Seward boat harbor, picking tiny tidbits off the water surface in the company of MEW GULLS and BARROW’S GOLDENEYES.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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