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yesterday in Chenega Bay

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  • Kate McLaughlin
    Hello Birders, Yesterday was a pretty nice day overall, even peppered with slush storms.  Temps holding in the upper 30 s.  PINE SISKINS have dominated my
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 10, 2013
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      Hello Birders,

      Yesterday was a pretty nice day overall, even peppered with slush storms.  Temps holding in the upper 30's.  PINE SISKINS have dominated my feeder hardly allowing the CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES on board.  A few REDPOLLS were sighted working the alders in the front yard.  Both OREGON and SLATE-COLORED JUNCOS are being spotted in the bare spots of ground under the bushes and beside my greenhouse.  The corvids were out in force in the village with all species showing up to be counted:  BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, STELLER JAY, CROWS and RAVENS.  BALD EAGLES calling from the spruce trees.  Spotted one RED CROSSBILL.  The VARIED THRUSHes are still signing like spring.  Had a WINTER WREN scold me from bushes as I walked down the path to the beach across the street.   A couple of PELAGIC CORMORANTS were fishing off shore. 


      Went to get some eggs from our neighbor off of O'Brien Creek Cove.  Usually a good spot to see waterfowl, but the only thing floating off the dock was a single COMMON LOON.

      We took a walk at the nice -1 low tide in the evening off the airport strip beach.  The first to spot us was a GREAT BLUE HERON who sounded the alarm which then spooked the MALLARDS.  BARROW'S GOLDEN-EYES, HARLEQUINS, BUFFLEHEAD,  a large group of SCAUP and a few COMMON MERGANZERS just moved farther out into the bay away from our noisy kid busy turning over stones to catch hermit crabs and gunnel fish.   Spotted a large brown sparrow on the beach, but the kid spooked it before I could determine if it was a Fox sparrow or what.

      Don't forget we Sprang Ahead today with Daylight Savings Time.....remind me why we do that again?.....

      Happy Birding,

      Kate


      Kate McLaughlin

       
      McLaughlin Environmental Services
      PO Box 8043
      Chenega Bay, Alaska 99574
      907/573-2006
      www.akenvironmentalservices.com

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kate McLaughlin
      Hello Birders, After a few weeks of almost non-stop rain and wind, the skies turned blue and we had to squint and use little known devices called sun
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 16, 2013
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        Hello Birders,

        After a few weeks of almost non-stop rain and wind, the skies turned blue and we had to squint and use little known devices called "sun glasses".  

        I felt sorry for the CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, due to some tree clearing in the village, they lost roosting and seed storing trees, so I put out the feeder a month early.  They are very appreciative and aren't sharing with any other birds around such as: STELLER'S JAY,  SAVANNAH SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE.   The dog and I decided to go up hill and look for highbush cranberries to pick.  While I picked, the dog harassed a group of SPRUCE GROUSE, who were also berry picking.  Surprised,or rather, we surprised each other, a SNIPE in muddy spot on the muskeg.  On the bay are phalanxes of GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS along the shores and creek mouths.  They are washing off the stink from their feathers from helping to clean up the creeks which are packed full of spawning pink salmon.  MEW GULLS and BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES cruise the shoreline.  PELAGIC CORMORANTS are starting to come in.    BALD EAGLES are enjoying the easy time of the year as well as the RAVENS.  

        My husband went out in the skiff on Saturday and came back to ask for the bird book and smugly told me he had seen a good many CASSIN'S AUKLETS in Bainbridge passage.  (grrr- he always sees things when out in the skiff without me...or does he?  (Not a confirmed sighting hunny!  Not going to list it!  Brrrtt!)
         
        The hit of the day was the flock after flock in a space of about 4 hours of SANDHILL CRANES coming over the village. I lost count at over 1,000 birds.  They seemed to be sailing in from the southwest, descending right over the village and the bay, at about 500 ft.  they started calling and circling up, up, up, until they hit about 2,500ft when they hit the air current they wanted, and then off the from the circling group they would peel, reform into V's and sail off towards the northeast.   Strange direction to be traveling it seemed, I think they are coming in from the Kenai Peninsula, Seward area and then heading back NE over the Sound towards Cordova and southeast along the coast to Yakutat and then down towards the panhandle?

        After hearing about the hummer in Seward (again!  how many years in a row now??) I have my nasturtiums under the window and geraniums in the window inside.  And I hung up a small feeder.  JUST IN CASE an Anna's should come swinging by here.  I've got a nice shiny new bracelet (free!) for it should it show.....

        Happy Birding,

        Kate

        Kate McLaughlin
        McLaughlin Environmental Services
        PO Box 8043
        Chenega Bay, Alaska 99574
        907/573-2006
         
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