Last night about 10:00 pm I heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl in our neighborhood for the first time this winter. Last winter, there was one calling, audible from our yard, nearly every night from Feb. 24 to April 6, so last night’s regular tooting was a hoped-for and welcome return sound. As I watched the sun set tonight beyond our back yard, I hoped to hear it again tonight and to hear it again many times over the next few weeks. I also really hope one will find the owl-box in our back yard but I know that’s a long shot.
Today’s birding in Anchorage, while not yielding anything quite so exciting, was nicely birdy. At Spenard Crossing, the trail was not nearly as icy as a few days ago due to the recent snowfall, but the ice that is under the new fluffy snow did mean that it still was easy to slide unintentionally.
The sun was bright and many of the eighteen (!) Black-billed Magpies thought today was a good time for a bath. The Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees were very chatty, a Brown Creeper quietly worked the trees and poles and multiple Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers were noisily chasing each other. In addition to the omnipresent Mallards, there was a single female Common Goldeneye.
Halfway across town at Cuddy Pond, in addition to the omnipresent Mallards there, there was a single male Common Goldeneye. Although I think the Mallards wander back and forth between open water areas, the Goldeneyes seem to stay separate.
The bright sun today meant that the male Mallards, usually ignored as birders look for something less common, were at their absolutely most beautiful.
Still 118 species so far this year