Monday, May 2, 2016 Canvasbacks, Warblers

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 5:50 am, sunset 10:00 pm, for a total day length of 16 hours and 10 minutes. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 11 seconds longer.

Mostly cloudy days continue with occasional scattered showers, and brief glimpses of sunshine. Temps in the mid 40s, feels like our mild February but with a lot more light and everything popping out green. Dandelions, whose ambition is to take over the world, are in bloom already. Marsh Marigolds, who only wish to be beautiful and make seeds, are also starting to bloom along the streams.

FOS YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER male singing its slow warble in a young cottonwood surrounded by fragrant, unfurling, green leaves.

Also found an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, FOS for me, but others have reported them a bit sooner.

The songs of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, FOX SPARROWS, SONG SPARROWS, VARIED THRUSH, ROBINS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS fill the air. I watched a Golden-crowned Sparrow feeding in the wild (no feeder!) She seemed to nibble at everything in her path, enjoying bits of tender green plants, tiny invertebrates, and who knows what else.

Three FOS CANVASBACKS including one female, touched down at the salt marsh pond. This species often skips Seward and usually doesn’t linger so it was quite a treat to watch them take a vigorous bath.

Also reported were FOS WHIMBRELS.

The ARCTIC TERN males are courting, diving expertly to snatch sticklebacks and other small fish while sweetie waits on her tiny red feet, cheering him on with expectant, begging cries. She is very capable of catching her own fish, but this is so much more fun!

I was surprised to find both TRUMPETER SWANS off the nest. The male was preening and guarding, the female feeding. Suddenly, she took off and flew like an avenging angel to her nest. She landed nearby, then walked majestically up to the nest. Not quite ready to sit, she preened and stretched leisurely over the nest, then finally settled back down on her precious eggs. I could almost hear her sigh.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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