A person could get used to this sunny mild weather. Louann, Lena and I birded two neighborhood areas in west Anchorage this morning – the R Street Alley and streets in the Turnagain area.
The main highlight of the first place was a Merlin that dove down, looped around and landed on a tree top for us to photograph it.
Also of extreme interest for a while and which was studied intently until we just gave up was a silent dove/pigeon, first thought to be a Rock Pigeon, then firmly believed to be a Eurasian Collared-Dove, and then concluded to probably be just a strange, probable Rock Pigeon. It flew in with a couple of Rock Pigeons, landing near us. I leave it for blog readers to make guesses/pronouncements if it is deemed to be anything other than a Rock Pigeon.
Other birds in the alley area were a Black-billed Magpie and Red-breasted Nuthatch (mostly just heard and only briefly seen on a distant treetop) that were photographed, as well as Common Redpolls, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Downy Woodpeckers and Dark-eyed Juncos.
At the second area (near Susitna) we heard a Varied Thrush, saw Dark-eyed Juncos, many Yellow-rumped and a few each Wilson’s and Orange-crowned Warblers, and a few American Robins, as well as basically the same little birds seen in the alley area.
The highlight of the second area, however, was six Rusty Blackbirds that, mostly hidden, silently worked the treetops and preened.
Of course, always a highlight is the chance to see Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), which is some 150 miles away from Anchorage and usually not visible, even from much nearer by.
291 species so far