August 19 – Juneau

The original plan was to come to Juneau a couple of days before the Wilderness Birding Adventures Gulf of Alaska trip, which starts on Sunday. So this morning, my friend Lena and I flew to Juneau from Anchorage after a very short night of sleep because her late flight into Anchorage had gotten there after midnight.

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Although we did not have a lot of energy, we did walk most of the Mendenhall Wetlands dike trail, looking for little birds (sparrows and warblers) and shorebirds.

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A very vocal Common Raven welcomed us at the beginning of the spruce portion of the trail.

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Out where the wetlands were flooded were many Green-winged Teal, fewer Mallards and a handful of Northern Shovelers. There were not too many shorebirds – just a few peeps that took off never to reappear and five Greater Yellowlegs. We did see one of the latter bite off more that it could chew.

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We had quick glimpses of an Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers and a handsome female Common Yellowthroat.

Sparrows were much more numerous and many of them were scruffy splotchy confusingly-plumaged youngsters. Sometimes we just had to guess at their identity or just give up. Sparrows seen included Savannah, Song, Lincoln’s and a White-crowned (not photographed).

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After an afternoon rest we went to the Brotherhood Bridge trail where we got more beautiful views of the Mendenhall Glacier. We added Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Steller’s Jay and Wilson’s Warbler to our day list.

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Tomorrow we head out to Ketchikan for the day. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s account of what I hope will be a birdy day.

289 species so far

 

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