December 10 – Ketchikan, Day 2

Steve Heinl and I birded the location out at Herring Cove where the Swamp Sparrow has been seen. It was a beautiful morning again with an actual sunrise sneaking between the clouds.




The vegetation was covered with beautiful ice crystals, which glistened when the sun hit them.

We were there for a couple of hours in the morning and then in the afternoon I went back. Again it was birdy, but we wandered off to a nearby area to bird for a short while, during which time Jim Lewis got the day’s only sighting of the Swamp Sparrow. He also saw the Spotted Towhee again, which I saw later today too.


Other birds there were the usual Dark-eyed Juncos, a Northern Flicker (red-shafted), Steller’s Jays and a Varied Thrush, in addition to the birds out on the water. Some of the birds that were photographed were being seen through a fence at the edge of the parking lot, which can be seen in some of the pictures.





Towards town from Herring Cove, we saw a Brandt’s Cormorant, which was quite close to shore until it saw us and flew farther out. In the various brushy areas we had more juncos, Song Sparrows and a singing White-crowned Sparrow. The most surprising bird was a late Hermit Thrush on the grass along the road.





Tomorrow we’ll wander some more around Ketchikan and probably give the Swamp Sparrow another chance to allow itself to be photographed.

307 species so far


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