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Seward Sporadic Bird Report: Eurasian Wigeons

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  • c_griz
    April 10, 2007 Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report Sunrise 6:55 am, sunset 9:03 pm, length of day 14 hours, 8 minutes; tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 28
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2007
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      April 10, 2007
      Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

      Sunrise 6:55 am, sunset 9:03 pm, length of day 14 hours, 8 minutes;
      tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 28 seconds longer.
      Weather: April blew in from the south to wash winter away, bringing
      rain and occasional snow showers. The local lakes, ponds, and the
      lagoon are partially open, and the ice is quickly losing its grip.
      Temperatures hover around 40º, with overcast skies.

      Birding in the snow showers this morning was difficult with spots and
      dots on all optics, but I did see about 200 NORTHERN PINTAILS, mixed
      with large groups of MALLARDS, smaller numbers of GADWALL, one male
      BUFFLEHEAD, AND a pair of GREEN-WING TEAL. As reported by Peregrine
      Joe, the pair of EURASIAN WIGEON was still there, the white thumbprint
      on the male’s head contrasting nicely with the cinnamon head color. I
      did not see or hear Joe’s Greater Yellowleg, and the Lapland Longspurs
      seem to indeed be gone after a peak of 60 on April 5th.

      April 9 at Lowell Point, 10 SURF SCOTERS mingled with 15 HARLEQUINS,
      feeding around the lone rock. A larger flock of surf scoters was seen
      farther offshore April 8th. On April 6, I counted 31 harlequins near
      the rock, vocalizing loudly in their squeaky-toy voices, courting. I
      don’t recall ever seeing this many harlequins in one group.

      SLATE-COLORED JUNCOS trill like tiny bells, flashing their white outer
      tail feathers as they chase around the spruce trees.

      April 8th, Robin reported a NORTHERN GOSHAWK perched on a power pole
      just north of Roundhouse Pond, silhouetted against the sky.

      April 4th at the salt marsh, the first NORTHERN HARRIER flew past,
      showing her prominent white rump and long tail. Also in the beach
      grass were 4 Lapland Longspurs.
      I watched 8 ROCK SANDPIPERS feeding alongside a freshwater rivulet on
      the mudflats. At the tide’s edge were a dozen each Northern Pintails,
      Gadwall, and Common Mergansers, and 4 Bald Eagles.

      April 3rd, a murder of NORTHWESTERN CROWS mobbed a MERLIN at the
      airport. It’s always a good idea to check what a flock of birds is
      chasing, as it could be an interesting raptor. In the artesian-fed
      stream, 4 male Bufflehead courted a lone female, bobbing their
      beautiful heads and vocalizing. They were almost indifferent to our
      presence as they were so involved with impressing the little lady. Joe
      spotted the first Lapland Longspurs today, 7 in town in the dead grass
      by Boulder Field, and 2 at the airport. He also spotted the first 30
      Northern Pintails at the tidelands.

      The numbers and species are building as the snow melts. It’s an
      exciting time so keep your binocs handy!

      I just received an excellent book in time for shorebirds: “The
      Shorebird Guide” by Michael O’Brien, Richard Crossley, and Kevin
      Karlson. For those of you who attended Kevin’s talk at the Copper
      River Shorebird Festival in 2004, this is the book he was working on.
      The silhouettes he passed out as handouts are at the back of the book.
      As expected, the photographs are phenomenal.

      Happy Birding!
      Carol Griswold
      Sporadic Bird Report reporter
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