Seward Sporadic Bird Report: Eurasian Wigeons
- 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 40Âº, 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 maleâs head contrasting nicely with the cinnamon head color. I
did not see or hear Joeâs 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
donât 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 tideâs 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. Itâs 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. Itâs an
exciting time so keep your binocs handy!
I just received an excellent book in time for shorebirds: âThe
Shorebird Guideâ by Michael OâBrien, Richard Crossley, and Kevin
Karlson. For those of you who attended Kevinâs 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.
Sporadic Bird Report reporter