July 4 – Wasilla Area Birding

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Louann Feldmann, Mike Herndon and I tried again today to find a Wilson’s Phalarope at the Goose Bay area where a male had been reported earlier, and we succeeded! At first all we could see were both yellowlegs species, Least Sandpipers, Northern Shovelers and American Wigeons. We tromped all over, checking out all the big and little lakes out on the wetland. Then on our way back we spotted (in the biggest shallow lake) a shorebird that was NOT any of the shorebirds we had seen earlier. It was a bit smaller than the nearby Lesser Yellowlegs, but was much more drab and unmarked. There were no spots or streaks or other evident markings on its breast which was a soft off-white color. It’s back was a plain gray-brown as was a light smudge near its eyes and the crown area. The only darker area on it was a slightly darker wing-area. Its beak was very thin and its legs were not as long as a yellowlegs but they were yellow. It was walking in the shallow water between and behind clumps of grass about 40-70 feet from us across a portion of the lake. We were not able to see it for long and did not get any photographs. Once it disappeared into the grass clumps we consulted our various apps and found that it was essentially identical to the photograph shown for juvenile WILSON’S PHALAROPE in the iBird Pro: North America app. In the car as we drove back to Anchorage we looked at all the apps and the birdbooks again and had the same conclusion. Neither of the other phalarope species were shown with any plumage that was even close to that of the bird we had seen.

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NOTE: I have posted Part 1 of the Dutch Harbor trip, the ferry portion, a few minutes ago on my blog in a separate post, and hope to finish my reporting on that trip tomorrow. A complete list of birds seen to date is found at lynnbarber.com for those unwilling to wait until Part 2 to see what was seen in and around Dutch Harbor.

284 species seen to date

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