Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Ava’s Place

Seward, Alaska

After enjoying the swans, we headed to Ava’s Place. My friends generously donated six bags of sunflower seeds which were received with appreciation by Ava.

We were rewarded with great views of RED CROSSBILLS, mostly streaky juveniles and a few female or older juveniles. No adult red males showed up. Ava said she has had up to 80 Red Crossbills at her feeders this summer.

Fearless PINE SISKINS claimed a space in the feeders with the Crossbills. At first glance, they looked similar to the juvenile Crossbills. Both are brownish with prominent streaking on the head and light breast, and both have notched tails. A closer look, however, and the oversized head and chunky bill of the Crossbill contrast with the “normal” sized head and slender bill of the smaller Siskin.

A bonus bird, a silent RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET flitted among the trees. I assume it was feeding on tiny insects.

A juvenile male HAIRY WOODPECKER zoomed in with a loud “PEEENK!” to feast on Ava’s custom suet in a log feeder. BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES called cheerily as they hopped among the tree branches. I don’t think they have a sad sound in their repertoire. Stubby-tailed RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES zipped from one feeder to another, barely pausing to grab a sunflower seed or bite of suet.

Of great interest to Ava’s visitors, was a STELLER’S JAY, boldly considering the new arrival of the sunflower seeds. Ava settled the matter by moving the seeds out of reach.

There’s always something interesting to watch at Ava’s Place!

Directions: Turn on Nash Road, go over the Alaska Railroad tracks and turn left on Salmon Creek Road. Take an immediate right after crossing Salmon Creek bridge. There is an address marker for her driveway, 11560. Drive slowly and look for birds. Ava’s cedar-sided house had a blue roof and lots of feeders. Park on the side of her driveway so you don’t block other residents. Please do not go on the porch or in the yard. No need to knock; she’ll come out if she can. Donations are always appreciated. Enjoy those birds!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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