I took a plane to Sitka this morning to try to get the reported Wood Duck.
Within 3 minutes of getting to Swan Lake, which is a couple of minutes from my motel, I saw the WOOD DUCK. As reported, he was hanging out with Mallards out on the lake. A little while later, a woman with a bag of bread crusts walked up and all the Mallards raced over to her. The Wood Duck stayed in the water for a while, but then hopped ashore and cautiously approached the Mallard feeding frenzy. Before he reached the bread crumbs, a loud noise nearby scared all the ducks back to the water.
In addition to these ducks, there were American Wigeon, distant scaup and RING-NECKED DUCKS, also new for the year.
Shortly after that, Matt Goff, a Sitka birder who had reported on the Wood Duck, arrived to take me birding.
We drove around Sitka, seeing beautiful forest and seaside views.
Birds seen included a Great Blue Heron, Common Murres, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads, Common Ravens and Northwestern Crows.
But my favorite bird of the day was the beautiful Wood Duck!