It was a beautiful breezy Friday, dumped down hard with wind and rain all weekend, and yesterday it blew out in the a.m. and became a nice sunny afternoon, if a bit chilly.
The creeks are still pretty stinky with spawned out pink salmon, but the fish are thinning out now. Still, the creek banks and mouths are packed with GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS and BALD EAGLES. On the bay, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and a single PELAGIC CORMORANT. A small group of HARLEQUIN ducks showed up sheltering from the wind at the mouth of Anderson Creek. The usual suspects hanging around the village, the corvid crew: RAVEN, CROW, STELLER JAY, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE. A BELTED KINGFISHER was spotted fishing from a downed tree on the beach. In my yard the CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES are hogging the feeder, with OREGON and SLATE-COLORED JUNCOS feeding underneath it. A fat FOX SPARROW joined them. Heading down to the beach near Anderson Creek to visit my neighbor and get some eggs I flushed ROBINS and VARIED THRUSHES looking for worms on the gravel,
and a SPRUCE GROUCE was picking gravel. I also flushed a WILSON'S SNIPE, but I don't think he was feeding on the road or picking gravel. The best sighting was a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK desperately going after a Steller's Jay that was a bit bigger than the raptor. Made me think of Chicken Hawk on the cartoon FogHorn Leghorn.
We are supposed to have one more nice day before the next storm rolls in. Hopefully it will bring more ducks in.
McLaughlin Environmental Services
PO Box 8043
Chenega Bay, Alaska 99574