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American Kestrel and Northern Shrike at Westchester Lagoon, Anchorage

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  • kesugiridge
    My wife Susan and I went to do a little tracking and birding in the woods north of Westchester lagoon. On the little hill just north of the sewage station we
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2008
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      My wife Susan and I went to do a little tracking and birding in the woods north of
      Westchester lagoon. On the little hill just north of the sewage station we found a magpie
      mobbing a kestrel. We both got a nice look at the kestrel for about a minute, from about
      10 meters behind. We both got very good views of the barring on the rufous back, the
      grey cap and bold mustache, the falcon face and bill and got a nice comparison in size
      with the magpie which of course was right there. After a minute the kestrel took off
      toward the south along the tracks, with the magpie following briefly.

      First time either of us has seen a kestrel in Anchorage but given the viewing distance and
      the amount of time we had to watch we are positive of the sighting.

      We headed back toward the lagoon and after going through the tunnel I heard a loud and
      rather chaotic song which I suspected was a shrike. After hunting around for about 5
      minutes we found the shrike perched in one of the big willows just north of the parking lot
      by the little bog. We watched and listened for about 15 minutes--got a nice view of the
      subtle scaling/ribbing on the chest--first time we'd ever had the right light and distance
      for that. Most of the song was unintelligible to me but one passage of a couple of minutes
      sounded like a pretty good imitation of a nuthatch, and there was a nuthatch singing in
      the woods on the other side of the bog at the time.

      Carl Ramm
      Anchorage
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