Monday, February 6, 2017 Anna’s, and Kingfisher

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 8:58 am, sunset 5:26 pm for a total day light of 8 hours and 27 minutes. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 12 seconds longer.

Another beautiful sunny day, with an overnight low of 17 and a mid-day high of 34. Though the snow stayed frozen, the sun really felt warm. Scattered clouds crept north from the Gulf of Alaska this afternoon with plans to hang around for the rest of the week.

The male ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD seems to be quite the cruiser, unless there are two. He showed up at the Cliff feeder on Friday morning 2.3 miles from Ava’s, and returned for most of Saturday, lingering past 5 pm.  Ava also saw him at mid-day on Saturday and early on Sunday. A speedy commuter? Banding would be so helpful!

This afternoon just past 2 pm, I heard his endearing ticking and spotted him in Ava’s Mayday tree, like he had never left. He sat there quietly soaking up the sun for a few minutes, flashing his flaming magenta feathers as he gazed around the yard.

The usual flurry of birds swirled all around him: PINE GROSBEAKS, PINE SISKINS, BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, a SONG SPARROW, and a single ROBIN. Then, without fanfare, he abruptly zoomed off around the house on a very important, secret mission.

Shortly afterwards, I headed to the Stash and Store Pond to look for the Hooded Merganser. I only found a few MALLARDS in the pond, but was very excited to see a female BELTED KINGFISHER peering intently at the water. She dove down then swooped back up to a better perch. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Kingfishers; as always, I wonder where they have been.

Yesterday, I checked out a small flock of Crows gathered on the Uplands by the boat harbor. A couple of Ravens and then a dozen GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS, as opportunistic as the Corvids, soon arrived. One Raven would have none of it and grabbed an adult gull by the wing and held on tight as the squawking, protesting gull tried to escape. They danced around and around, “swing your partner!” until the poor gull finally got loose and flew far away.

The Raven patrolled around until another gull, a juvenile, got careless and it too became an unwilling dance partner. Around and around he went, at times airborne, held by that strong Raven beak. The Crows watched from a safe distance, quite subdued, and gave the aggressive Raven no reason to dance with them. Smart birds!

In other news, SAW-WHET OWLS are beeping in at least three locations in neighborhoods just outside Seward. I keep listening, but though one was spotted sleeping in my neighbor’s feeder early on January 29, I haven’t heard any yet.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter


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