- Monday, October 17, 2005
Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report
Sanna's ANNA's was seen this morning at 10 am in the 500 block of First Avenue on a few
nasturtiums that didn't die in the recent frost. This is quite a surprise, as she has not been
seen since October 9th. A hummingbird feeder was set up; stay tuned!
(This bird is named after the birder over on 4th Ave where she was first seen. The
woman's name, Sanna, is an anagram of Anna's! How perfect is that?)
Dave Sonneborn shared this fascinating info:
Interestingly Anna's are non-migratory. They spread out after breeding-hence their annual
or near annual occurrence in Alaska in the fall. Unfortunately a fatal mistake this far north.
Over the last forty years they have spread north. I have to confirm this with some old
books I have at home, but I think they were rare North of the San Francisco Bay area 40
years ago, and now with global warming and increased ornamental plants occur to
In other news:
October 11th: I drove up to Tern Lake on a special splurge and saw only 8 TRUMPETER
SWANS, where a few days earlier there had been 20. Accompanying the swans were 2 male
BUFFLEHEAD, several MALLARDS, WIGEONS, and a COMMON MERGANSER taking a
tremendously splashy bath. At the outlet by Dave's Creek, I was fortunate to watch not 1
AMERICAN DIPPER, but 2, and then 3 snarfing down fresh salmon eggs. A merry chase
ensued when one flaunted the egg instead of swallowing it. The silver salmon splashing
and spawning there provided more caviar for the dippers and a lone common merganser.
October 12th: I heard the trumpeting first and looked up into the beautiful blue sky to see
over 60 pure white swans led by a smaller number of dark youngsters fly directly overhead
in a broad arch. It was interesting that the cygnets were leading, with only a few dark birds
sprinkled down the line.
October 13th, barely light at 8:15 am and a cool 37º: I heard a WINTER WREN singing
behind the long-term care facility on First Ave. I walked behind and up the hillside a bit
until I saw him, hopping from one low spruce branch to the next, singing like it was
summer. Later that afternoon, I was very pleased to find 3 more DIPPERS feeding on
salmon eggs right in front of a home on the newly torn up Phoenix Road by the horse
pasture. The homeowner came out to see what I was doing, and saw his first dipper,
actually first 3 dippers. I hope he can control his young cat who also spotted these naive
little songsters, preening on a conveniently low rock nearby. Seward is so lucky to still
have salmon and dippers running up streams right in town.
Sporadic Bird Report reporter
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