As promised by his owner Bob Bird, Vino a Brittany was the “star of the show”. The show was presented to Ellen Schwenne, Louann Feldman, my friend Lena and me, as well as to Bob, who volunteered his time and expertise to help us toward our goal. The four of us stayed overnight in a campground near Summit Lake (between Anchorage and Kenai) and met Bob about 6:30 am to begin the hike.
While we worked our way up the 2.5 mile climb, Vino bounded across the hills along the trail.
About where Bob, our guide, had said we were likely to find White-tailed Ptarmigan, Vino went on point and held it until we got closer and he was verbally released and bounded toward the WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN. All in all we had about seven birds, much grayer than Willow Ptarmigan at this time of the year with white outer tail feathers seen when they flew. Unfortunately I did not get any close-up pictures as the birds that we saw were across a stream on the opposite hillside.
Vino eventually came back to us after he was called away from the fun of finding the ptarmigan and was showered with praise (as was Bob) for finding the birds for us.
We just rested and rejoiced before our trek back down the trail.
Other birds seen were sparrows, White-crowned and Golden-crowned, as well as Varied Thrushes. We heard Orange-crowned and Yellow Warblers, as well as a Dark-eyed Junco.
We had spectacular scenery along the entire walk, which we were better able to appreciate after we had seen the ptarmigan and were walking back. We were back at the cars just after noon.
My next major birding adventure is a trip to Gambell on St. Lawrence Island, beginning on August 31. Before then I will continue to bird the Anchorage area.
291 species so far