Feb. 28 – Juneau in the Rain

Throughout this trip to southeast Alaska, rain has threatened every day and periodically briefly happened and mostly not been too noticeable, until today. Today it just rained. Still, I was out there birding for most of the day. I began at the Mendenhall wetlands a little before 8 am. I did not have any particular goal, but it did seem like it would be a good time and place to get my first snipe of the year. Those of you who have read my first book (Extreme Birder: One Woman’s Big Year) know that I like to write doggerel “poetry”. Please skip to the next paragraph now if you do not like to read it. As I walked along I was happily singing (to myself), “Just walking in the rain, getting (not quite) soaking wet, wish for a snipe, the next bird I should get.” There were very few birds along the trail, but there were a couple of Common Goldeneyes, Northwestern Crows, Bald Eagles, Canada Geese, Buffleheads, American Wigeons and Song Sparrows.

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I did not see a snipe today. Instead I saw another long-beaked bird. Bev Agler and Patty Rose had arranged to meet me at the wetlands about 9:15. The three of us hiked out across the wetlands, where I not yet gone before. Eventually we reached an area where Patty had seen the earlier reported Long-billed Dowitchers. Without two much effort we spotted the two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS again today, feeding side-by-side along a little rivulet.

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Mission accomplished, we hiked back, unsuccessfully scanning the Mallard-Wigeon flocks for something other than an American Wigeon.

After lunch, we headed over to Sunset Point where a Snow Goose has been hanging out with the Canada Geese. Normally (apparently) it has been visible from where one can park a car, but today many of the Canada Geese and the SNOW GOOSE were way out across the grassy puddle-full field. Having nothing else in mind to seek, I decided to slog out toward the geese and attempt a picture. Although I could not get very near the geese because of slippery mud ahead of me and because I needed to go back to avoid high tide, I did get a couple of distant photos.

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Late in the afternoon I visited the Brotherhood Bridge area, which is a good birding site during migration and just pretty and not birdy on a rainy February day.

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117 species so far

 

4 thoughts on “Feb. 28 – Juneau in the Rain

  1. AMR February 29, 2016 / 6:39 am

    Two questions in that goose photo:
    1. It looks a lot like a Ross’s Goose, right? I trust your I.D. though.
    2. What’s that duck in the foreground? Looks like a Eurasian Wigeon from that angle, but it must be a Pintail, right?

    Like

    • Lynn E. Barber February 29, 2016 / 6:47 am

      It is likely it is my crummy photo of the goose that makes it look like a Ross’s but I am going back to check on it if possible. The other bird in the pic is a N. Pintail.

      Like

  2. Arman Moreno February 29, 2016 / 7:08 am

    Even from that distance, I have trouble making out an obvious grin patch. The bill appears very small as well. Looks awfully like a Ross’s Goose IMO.

    Like

    • Lynn E. Barber February 29, 2016 / 9:21 am

      There has only been 1 white goose out there and today when it is closer and no rain the grin patch can be seen.

      Like

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