Apr. 18 – Snipe Hunt

For days now I’ve been listening for and looking for Wilson’s Snipe. Last night there is some chance that I heard a distant snipe, but maybe not. So the hunt continued today.

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Today I started birding at Oceanview Bluff Park, which as I mentioned earlier was a great site last year for snipe. Again, a lovely morning, but no snipe detected. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was singing loudly, a flock of Common Redpolls was working the budding tops of the trees, and two Green-winged Teal were dozing in the little stream, until they were rudely awakened by a Mallard swimming by.

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I decided that I needed to head out to the airport area where numerous snipe had been reported. On the way there, along Lake Hood Drive, I heard a definitive WILSON’S SNIPE calling from a spruce-filled bog along the road, but did not see the bird. Under ABA rules, it is countable, and I am counting it because of its distinctive sound. It’s not a rare bird of course and I will see and hear many more.

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I then walked the trail along the fence at the west end of the airport runway where many trees were budding out.

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I had talked to Eric Youngblood on the way there who told me he had seen a Snow Goose on the mud flats and had found an Orange-crowned Warbler along the trail. Although I heard what was most likely the Orange-crown as I walked along, it was distant and theoretically could have been something else. So, I’ll wait to count that species. I did see the Snow Goose, which was not new because in late February I saw the one that had been reported in Juneau.

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I had intended to walk north a bit on the coastal trail, but my pathway was blocked by a moose.

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So, I headed back to my car, and drove back along Lake Hood Drive to try for a sighting of the snipe. What I saw was three more moose, a mother and two yearlings. While I watching the moose, I heard Sandhill Cranes overhead.

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I needed to cut short my birding because in a couple of hours, I am scheduled to fly to TEXAS where I will give a couple of talks on my new book, Birds in Trouble, will visit Texas A&M University Press, the publisher of my books, will see some birding friends, and will bird, of course. I do plan to post on this blog about birds seen in Texas, as sort of a southern vacation from Alaska birding. I’ll be back and birding in Alaska on April 24th.

BIRDS IN TROUBLE BOOK JACKET - CROPPED

133 species so far

 

 

 

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