Today I birded a bit by myself. Since I just received a photo of me taken as I watched the Spruce Grouse yesterday, before I discussed today’s birding I thought I’d include it here for those who haven’t witnessed me in my formal winter birding attire.
I started my birding today by going to Spenard Crossing (Anchorage), the site of wonderful birds in 2015 as well as in earlier years, but not so much lately. It was a pleasant morning walk, light snow, about 32 degrees, and a nice assortment of the regular winter birds of Anchorage. But nothing new, as expected. I consoled myself by remembering that for a year with 366 days and a state in which 270 birds in a year is a very good number, there were going to be many days when I did not get a new bird this year.
So, I enjoyed the Mallards, the goldeneyes (I believe both are Barrow’s, but would welcome comments), Black-billed Magpies, Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches.
After running a few errands, I went home for more chores, and then the birds arrived at our feeders. About 20 Pine Grosbeaks were joined by a large flock of about 40 redpolls, as well as by Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos. There had been a similar sized redpoll flock in our yard in late 2015, at least one of which was a Hoary Redpoll. I scanned them carefully today and yes, there was a HOARY REDPOLL, with classic Hoary features – white unmarked rump, white nearly unmarked sides and pale back.