Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Seward CBC wrap up

Add a FOX SPARROW to Count Week for a total of 68 species overall.


A NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL squeaked into Count Day (night) making the Count Day total 56. Count Week species is 11 for a total of 67 species, one less than last year.

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 10:00 am, sunset 3:50 pm, for a total daylight of 5 hours and 50 minutes. Tomorrow will be exactly the same, 0 minutes and 0 seconds shorter as the Earth shifts gears. The Winter Solstice begins at 1:44 am Wednesday, as does the official first day of winter.

Yesterday, the weather played the drama queen card, waltzing from one dark snow squall to the next, pelting the town with graupel. That entertaining little tantrum played out by evening.

Later, skate skiers left their rhythmic tracks all around town in the fresh snow on unplowed streets. Orion spanned the southern sky, as his faithful, sparkling, dog Sirius rose over the eastern mountains. I listened hard but unsuccessfully for owls while soaking up the peace and beauty of the night. It was hard to go inside even as midnight approached.

Today, the last day of the CBC Count Week, remained benign, mostly sunny, and calm with temps ranging from 19 to 28º. I headed out to the tidelands, searching for one last species. There at tide’s edge, past about 100 NORTHWESTERN CROWS busily feeding in the mudflats, were three small shorebirds. DUNLINS! I eased forward. The Crows did not mind at all. I got as close as needed for documentary photos of the long drooping bill and drab brownish plumage, then turned back, past the cordial Crows. Yay!

The next bird of interest was an AMERICAN PIPIT, round as a ball, picking through the beach rocks. This species is uncommon in the winter in Seward. Though it was counted on Saturday, it was still nice to document.

Back at the parking lot, a VARIED THRUSH perched at the tip of a spruce tree. It trilled briefly, then jetted off, bright orange and black against the pale blue sky.

I headed to Ava’s Place to see the celebrity mite. After watching the PINE GROSBEAKS flow back and forth, rattled by an unseen predator, I heard the ticking. There he was, the ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD, at ease as usual. He sat on a Mayday twig for a while, checked out the feeders for a snack, then disappeared over the roof in a blur to monitor the back yard.

With the addition of the DUNLIN, and a report of a GREAT HORNED OWL heard on Friday night, the Seward CBC Count Week total is 11. The Count Day total is 56, for a total species count of 67. The 2015 Count had 66 species plus two for Count Week for a total of 68, though the species varied a bit. It’s always interesting to see who is here!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

2                Auklet, Crested                                                           ­­­        
7                Blackbird, Rusty                      ­­­                 
116             Bufflehead                                               
30               Chickadee, Black-capped          ­­­                  ­­­
         CW Chickadee, Boreal                                       
51               Chickadee, Chestnut-backed                               
65               Cormorant, Pelagic                                            
4                Creeper, Brown                       ­­­                 
         CW Crossbill, White-winged              ­­­                 
129             Crow, Northwestern                                          
5                Dipper, American                    ­­­                 
65               Duck, Harlequin                                       
2                Duck, Long-tailed 
         CW Dunlin                            
50               Eagle, Bald                                      
1                Falcon, unknown species                                            
         CW  Gadwall                                  
336             Goldeneye, Barrow’s                                         
98               Goldeneye, Common                                         
75               Grebe, Horned                                                  
6                Grebe, Red-necked                           ­­­                 
249             Grosbeak, Pine                                         
1                Guillemot, Pigeon 
         1  Gull, Glaucous-winged X Herring hybrid  (not a species)     
176             Gull, Glaucous-winged                              
9                Gull, Herring                                                     
55               Gull, Mew                                                         ­­­
4                Heron, Great Blue                                     
2                Hummingbird, Anna’s                                                 
38               Jay, Steller’s                                                              
81               Junco, Dark-eyed (Slate-colored)
                           including 1 Junco, Dark-eyed (Oregon)                         ­­­
12               Kingfisher, Belted                                                       
23               Kinglet, Golden-crowned          ­­­                 
15               Loon, Common                       ­­­                 
6                Loon, Pacific                                                    
36               Magpie, Black-billed                                            ­­­
117             Mallard                                                    
48               Merganser, Common                                         
         CW Merganser, Hooded                   
48               Merganser, Red-breasted                           
99               Murrelet, Marbled                                     
25               Nuthatch, Red-breasted
         CW Owl, Great-Horned
1                Owl, Northern Saw-whet                                   
98               Pigeon, Rock                                                    
1                Pipit, American                                        
15               Ptarmigan, Rock                                      
57               Raven, Common                                      
48               Robin, American                     ­­­                 
         CW  Sandpiper, Rock
         CW Sapsucker, Red-breasted  
2                Scaup, Greater                                                  
65               Scoter, Surf                                             
1                Scoter, White-winged
1                Shrike, Northern                             
1                Siskin, Pine                             ­­­                 
2                Sparrow, American Tree                           
2                Sparrow, Golden-crowned                                 
6                Sparrow, Song                                 ­­­                 
8                Sparrow, White-crowned                                   
2                Sparrow, White-throated                           
         CW Swan, Trumpeter                                        
         CW Teal, Green-winged                                     
14               Thrush, Varied                        ­­­                 
         CW Waxwing, Bohemian                          
6                Woodpecker, Downy                                         
3                Woodpecker, Hairy                                            
1                Wren, Pacific                                  

TOTAL SPECIES: 56, 11 for Count Week, 67 total
Total individuals: 2447


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