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Seward Sporadic Bird Report: FOS Black Oystercatcher!

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  • c_griz
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 Sunrise 7:33 am, sunset 8:41pm, length of day 13 hours, 17 minutes; tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 30 seconds longer. Weather:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2012
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      Saturday, March 31, 2012

      Sunrise 7:33 am, sunset 8:41pm, length of day 13 hours, 17 minutes; tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 30 seconds longer.

      Weather: Scattered clouds and peek-a-boo, warm sunshine. Temps remained in the high 30s to low 40s, keeping the snowmelt somewhat under control with 90% of the snow yet to go. A brief south breeze and light rain popped up yesterday afternoon then blew away, returning the bay to mirror calm.

      Friday, March 30
      Harbor Uplands: 2 BLACK SCOTERS hung out with 2 SURF SCOTERS, all handsome, colorful drakes. A HERRING GULL stood, then sat amicably on a piling adjacent to a BALD EAGLE that pointedly ignored the intrusion into its personal space.

      Saturday: I motored down Lowell Point River trying not to generate a wake, and squeezed through recent small avalanche slides to reach Lowell Point Beach. A sea otter swam leisurely along next to the road. Farther out, a PIGEON GUILLEMOT in striking breeding plumage, black with a white wing patch, floated peacefully all alone.

      Just off the beach, a COMMON LOON preened its newly emerged black and white spangled back with a head still adorned in winter feathers. Changes are happening fast!

      I wandered down to the rocky intertidal area, now at low tide. Scanning the apparently empty, seaweed-strewn rocks, I envisioned the migrants soon to come. Suddenly, there was one! A big black bird with a long red bill! FOS BLACK OYSTERCATCHER! What a treat! It poked among the rocks and pried off a large limpet and other snacks. I hunkered down to enjoy watching it for about 10 minutes until a beach walker with a dog alarmed the bird. Off it flew with a loud ringing WHEEP! Lowell Point, despite its enticing habitat, has too many loose dogs and summer activity for this wonderful bird to nest here anymore. But early in the spring and in the fall, we are lucky to see them, if only briefly.

      Back at home, a neighbor brought over an odd, desiccated collection: a smashed robin, flattened Bohemian waxwing, shriveled mouse, old bait herring, a hunk of congealed fat, and a dried up piece of bread. What do these have in common? He found them when he opened up his truck's air cleaner, all jammed against the air filter. The only entry point was the air intake duct opening several feet away. Very mysterious! After ruling out the Butler with the Candlestick, I deduced a squirrel, a known bird killer, stashed these delectables in the air cleaner when the truck was parked for spring break. Too funny!

      Happy Birding!
      Carol Griswold
      Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter
      for photos please go to <http://sporadicbird.blogspot.com> http://sporadicbird.blogspot.com
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