Sunday, May 1, 2016 Hudsonian Godwit

Seward, Alaska

April 28, I spotted three VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, the FOS for me. They were too fast for my camera, but the white rumps flashed.

April 29: two BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS probed the intertidal rocks for mussels at Fourth of July Beach on the east side of the bay. Another pair adorned Pinnacle Rock at Lowell Point State Recreation Site on the west side of the bay.

May 1: A single PIPIT flew overhead calling, at the head of the bay. Over 100 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and CACKLING GEESE fed in the saltwater marsh until a BALD EAGLE stirred them aloft in uneasy swirls. 

Five beautiful, striking PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS also flew up but soon landed and began their characteristic stop-start-stop walk, gleaning food en route.  The Golden-Plovers joined an amazing HUDSONIAN GODWIT that was also feeding in the salt marsh. Its long bill was orange at the base and black at the tip. When it circled, I could see its dark underwing and black tail with a white rump. This species migrates from Chile or other parts of southern South America (!), and may be headed to western Cook Inlet to nest, or the arctic beyond.

Three NORTHERN HARRIERS, including one male, patrolled the grassy areas, hunting and finding fat voles.

It’s just incredible to consider the tremendous journey these migratory birds have accomplished. Welcome and good luck to every one!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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