Riverside Rotary Park, Juneau
Drive-up Life Bird! I pulled into the empty parking lot of this little jewel of a park and spotted the WOOD DUCK pair paddling towards the near shore, the hen in the lead. That was easy!
I eased out of the car, camera in hand, and walked around the pond. I was amazed how many species lived in this oasis surrounded by a busy road on one side and dense housing behind a fence on the other. A male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD called from the island. MALLARDS, a male NORTHERN SHOVELER, and a lone female HOODED MERGANSER swam with the Wood Ducks. VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS swooped over the surface as a BELTED KINGFISHER rattled across to a favorite perch.
Along the edge, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS flitted in the willows, alders, and cottonwoods. One bright male sported a yellow throat bordered by white, a Myrtle x Audubon intergrade. The female, with an all-white throat was a straight up Myrtle. A PINE SISKIN explored the cottonwood tree while a southeast subspecies of SONG SPARROW sang brightly from a nearby branch.
NORTHWESTERN CROWS strode across the green lawn surrounding the pond. An unidentified shorebird shot up and away before I could get a good look. The Wood Ducks, stars of the show, walked up to feed in the grassy area then back into the safety of the pond. The gorgeous drake always followed his cautious and subtly elegant hen.
Even though it was raining, it was fun to bird this park full of surprises.
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter