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1226Re: [AK Birding] Seward Merlins

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  • Nick Hajdukovich
    Aug 1, 2006
      Hey Carol,

      Do you happen to have any more information on that
      Purple Finch that you mentioned. This isn't the same
      one that was seen during the winter was it? Any more
      information would be very helpful for a Rare Bird
      Alert post. Thanks a lot!

      Nick Hajdukovich

      --- c_griz <c_griz@...> wrote:

      > August 1, 2006
      > Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report
      > 50s, overcast skies, scattered showers in the
      > forecast. Everything is delightfully GREEN,
      > accented by glowing flowers and ripening berries. 16
      > hours, 50 minutes of daylight;
      > tomorrow will be 4 minutes and 55 seconds shorter.
      > A family of extremely vocal MERLINS is zipping
      > around the neighborhood between the
      > Seward High School and the cemetery. I wonder if the
      > school security host in their RV, or
      > people passing by to use the pool, have any idea
      > that these special birds are here. As I
      > watched them recently, three sat quietly near the
      > top of a spruce, then one fluttered off,
      > leaving two expectantly waiting, apparently watching
      > for food service. After a short while
      > all were in the air, moving to another tree, crying
      > loudly, before they disappeared.
      > I fear that this family was the victim of a cat
      > killing as a nearby neighbor confessed that
      > earlier this summer his cat delivered a young,
      > unidentified raptor. What a needless loss!
      > On a brighter note, yesterday while hiking in the
      > coastal mountains, my joyful singing was
      > abruptly stilled as I suddenly noticed a petite
      > feathered rock, quite close by. I knelt down
      > and was thrilled to observe a female WHITE-TAILED
      > PTARMIGAN mottled dark brown and
      > white, watching me. I felt that I could reach out
      > and touch her. A slight movement directed
      > my attention to her chick, not 6 feet away, also
      > frozen. Even though I raised my voice and
      > made hand signals to the good dog to sit-stay where
      > she was 50 feet ahead, the birds
      > made not the slightest movement. I bade them both a
      > very good day and successful
      > winter, rose, and walked away. From a distance, I
      > could barely tell she was there, blending
      > in so well with the rock.
      > AMERICAN PIPITS bobbed their tails and called from
      > the tundra, watching me closely.
      > Other than a lone HERMIT THRUSH "chwaying" from an
      > alder on the way down, it was very
      > quiet in the mountain bird world.
      > July 18th, 2 juvenile owls were reported from Old
      > Exit Glacier Road, possibly GREAT
      > HORNED OWLS. Also a female PURPLE FINCH in town,
      > seen very occasionally with flock of
      > about 30 PINE SISKINS.
      > July 21st, while the VIOLET GREEN and TREE SWALLOW
      > population in town has greatly
      > diminished, large numbers were reported swooping
      > over the Exit Glacier outwash plain.
      > Apparently there is more food out there than in
      > town, so they went out to eat.
      > Also on July 21st, I was lucky to observe 3 WINTER
      > WRENS at Two Lakes Park in town, the
      > adults feeding the youngster, their perky tails
      > straight up. ROBINS and VARIED THRUSHES
      > were gorging on unripe Red Elderberries. This is a
      > great shrub to have in your yard for the
      > birds.
      > July 22, BROWN CREEPERS reported at Lowell Point, as
      > well as RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS,
      > and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS. Other town locations
      > report hummers still here as well,
      > including one at my house.
      > July 24th, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were spotted
      > migrating through, 2 at the airport
      > cul-de-sac, and 3 by the railroad dock. Due to a
      > huge storm in the Gulf of Alaska, FORK-
      > TAILED STORM PETRELS were seen lightly skimming over
      > the bay waters, far from their
      > usual open ocean home.
      > Happy Birding!
      > Carol Griswold
      > Sporadic Bird Report reporter
      > For more information on how to keep cats indoors,
      > please refer to the American Bird
      > Conservancy website, Cats Indoors at
      > <http://www.abcbirds.org/cats> and other
      > informative sites listed under a Google.com search.

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