It was a busy day, doing all the stuff that needed doing between trips. I did take time to go to Potter Marsh this morning, where I was surprised to see both a Killdeer and a Short-eared Owl as I walked the boardwalk. No new year-birds, however.
I then went to the Chester Creek Trail south-west of Westchester Lagoon, where the Franklin’s Gulls that were first found at Ship Creek a few days ago were again spotted last night by Tim Stevenson. I was delighted to find that there were still two FRANKLIN’S GULLS far out on the edge of the mudflats initially near a Bonaparte’s Gull, allowing a handy comparison of their sizes and back color, and I could see the very distinct white eye crescents of the Franklin’s Gulls and the lack of similar crescents on the Bonaparte’s Gull. Other local birders came along and confirmed that I was indeed looking at the Franklin’s Gulls should I have had any doubt about it. Below is the least crummy of my generally crummy photos of the distant Franklin’s Gulls in which at least the face markings can be seen if one works at it.
The local Anchorage birders were also delighted to see that there was a Black Oystercatcher on the beach, a rarity for this area.
After that, I went back to my non-birding tasks, including packing for my Gambell-Nome trips that begin tomorrow morning. I am definitely looking forward to them!
216 bird species so far