I shouldn’t complain. This was only the first day of rainy birding this year, in spite of my being in an area where a rainy winter day is no rarity. All bundled up for the mid-30s windy rainy weather, my boots clad in ice-trekker devices, I birded with two (and for a little while three) other intrepid women birders from Juneau, Laurie Lamm, Bev Agler, and Patty Rose.
The roads and the sidewalks around the Mendenhall Wetlands were treacherous and it was generally a nasty day, but us birders and a few runners, and other nutty hardy Alaskans were out and about as if it was a sunny dry day.
The only new bird for the day was a very briefly seen, mostly silhouetted WESTERN MEADOWLARK in the area near the Mendenhall Wetlands where two of them have been seen sporadically for weeks. It was perched up on a spruce and shortly after being spotted flew down out of sight, never to be seen again, in spite of much looking. I really like to get better views of birds, and ideally, photos, but that is not the way it always goes.
We persevered and drove and walked the icy area as carefully as we could, looking for the meadowlark(s) and for Eurasian Collared-Doves, but only seeing numerous Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-billed Magpies, Pacific Loons, Common Mergansers, Mallards, a Belted Kingfisher, Common Ravens, Northwestern Crows, and the usual Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls. Although for a short while the rain let up, it began again as dusk approached (about 3 pm). After leaving the other birders I drove and walked the area around the Wetlands hoping for a better view of the meadowlark, or perhaps a view of a Eurasian Collared-Dove, but nothing more was visible, and I retired for the day, and for the trip.
Tomorrow morning, assuming the planes are flying, I’ll be back in Anchorage. My future schedule right now after that is not clear. I need to check on what’s being seen up that way and how the roads are.