December 5 – Ketchikan

After much deliberation, I am deciding to count the SWAMP SPARROW that I saw briefly and heard a couple of times in my 4-plus hours of wandering back and forth on the southern Ketchikan road where the bird has been seen for over a week. But I really would like a photograph, and of course, a better look. Sigh. So, if anyone sees another Swamp Sparrow or sees this one again, let me know, I may be back for a better look and hopefully a photograph. Maybe I’ll devote a couple more days to it. It’s not like there are a lot of birds around that I could add to my year list anyway. Over my lifetime I have seen a fair number of Swamp Sparrows, but I do not have any photos of the little skulkers. Probably wishful thinking, but….

Before my sparrow vigil, I flew from Juneau to Ketchikan on a lovely presunrise/sunrise trip.

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At the sparrow road in Ketchikan (Powerhouse Road), it was very birdy, primarily Dark-eyed Juncos, over 20 of them constantly coming and going.

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There were also about five Steller’s Jays rooting around in the snow in the brush beneath low branches near the end of the road.  The juncos also spent much time there. In this same location over the time that I was there, a Spotted Towhee (rare in Alaska, but I saw one in Juneau early in the year), a Northern Flicker, a Fox Sparrow, and a Varied Thrush (crummy photo only) appeared.

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Down below in the water at the end of the road, two American Dippers chased each other around. There were also a Belted Kingfisher, a Wilson’s Snipe, a Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Ravens, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Mallards, Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, Common Mergansers and Buffleheads seen during the day. Nice variety for a cold winter day.

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Tomorrow I’ll explore Juneau before heading back to Anchorage.

307 species so far

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