May 7 – Peep Show (etc.)

Lately wherever I have birded in southeast Alaska, the “peeps”, primarily Least and Western Sandpipers, have been everywhere there’s water, which is pretty much everywhere.

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This morning Patty Rose and I walked the dike trail at the Mendenhall Wetlands in Juneau. It did rain on and off but there were actual periods without rain. After hearing a Killdeer to start our walk, we were accompanied by American Pipits for ten minutes or so.

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In addition to peeps in every puddle and slough and wet area, there were ducks, most notably a female Hooded Merganser (seen here with a female Bufflehead). There were also geese – a flock of some 250 Greater White-fronted Geese and 1 Snow Goose (see if you can see it in the picture).

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About noon I headed to the airport, where I learned that my flight to Anchorage would be delayed an hour or so. Our takeoff and flight were uneventful and we flew over extensive show-capped mountains, but our landing was not uneventful. The plane was almost on the ground when suddenly we were headed upward at a steep angle. Apparently the runway had another plane on it where we were supposed to go. Oops. We circled around and the real landing was fine.

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Now I’ve got to figure out where to bird until I head off to the Kachemak Bay birding festival in Homer next weekend. After that my schedule is just too complicated to remember – birding everywhere almost all at once, trying to get all those migrants before they disperse all over the wilds of Alaska.

168 species so far

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