Saturday, May 13, 2017 Swallow swarm, Pectoral Sandpipers, Cackling Geese, Crane, Arctic Terns

Seward, Alaska
Sunny streak ends as clouds and light rain moved in.

Every day brings more migratory birds, some to stay, some to stage, all to celebrate.

At least a 100 or more VIOLET-GREEN and TREE SWALLOWS flew overhead at the head of the bay like a swarm of bees or wind-swirled leaves, layers and layers of fast-moving specks. I almost got dizzy trying to look at individuals. The Violet-green Swallows flashed a large white flank patch that nearly encircles the rump. When the slightly larger Tree Swallows turned, they gleamed a steely blue instead of a green back. The closer Tree Swallows zipping past also showed a corresponding darker face. What a treat to see so many!

In the pond were the usual AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAILS, MALLARDS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELERS,  and a lone female CANVASBACK and SCAUP. Peeps and a few SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS clustered along the edge. PECTORAL SANDPIPERS scurried through the sedges and at the tideline, resembling giant Least Sandpipers.

Seven GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE and 8 CACKLING GEESE grazed in the sedge meadows. The single SANDHILL CRANE, that has been here at least since May 7, displayed as I passed. He must be lonely!

ARCTIC TERN courtship continued; such a tender show of prowess, consideration, and grace. I am ecstatic that they returned!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

1 comment:

  1. I hope the colony is watched so eggers don't decimate it like last year. So heartbreaking!