Over 400 miles today. I am too tired to write much, so it will just be the basics. Many ponds and lakes along the way had at least a couple of Trumpeter Swans, and various ducks. At one partly frozen lake, I noticed one sleeping swan, and then the head of another one appeared, and I watched it moving vegetation toward it, apparently working on a nest.
About 50 miles south of Delta Junction, I saw a Northern Hawk Owl perched on top of a spruce. I made a U-turn to photograph it and it dove down and disappeared. The next thing I saw was a tiny falcon diving at a Common Raven. For a moment I thought that maybe there had been no hawk owl at all, just the falcon. Then the Hawk Owl appeared on top of a deciduous tree. The falcon was calling as it dove, and I finally saw enough to realize that it was an AMERICAN KESTREL. My pictures of it were fairly worthless, however.
In Delta Junction, I had a brief meeting with Jeff Mason who told me some sites to check out in the morning for my goal birds, Sharp-tailed Grouse and Ruffed Grouse. This afternoon I drove most of these roads to check out their locations, and flushed two AMERICAN PIPITS. My pictures were taken through the windshield so are a bit blurry.
On Barley Way, toward Tok, were three SHARP-TAILED GROUSE. Maybe I’ll see them display tomorrow, but at least I no longer need to worry whether I’ll find one.
As I continued to drive back toward Delta Junction on Barley Way, large numbers of geese were descending far out in a field. At first all I could see were Canada Geese, probably 600 or more. But when I used my camera as a telescope, I realized that there also were GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, at least 20 or so.
Tomorrow my main goal will be Ruffed Grouse.
140 species so far