My Alaska big year is over! I love planning and taking trips, and it will be hard to cut back and be more “sensible” about chasing birds in the new year. But, now that I have again begun to accumulate more miles on Alaska Airlines, I do hope to add a few more birds to my Alaska list in 2017 even though I definitely will not be doing another Alaska big year.
I did bird today on the last day of the year, walking the woodland area at Spenard Crossing.
The creek was mostly frozen and I figured that dippers, which I look for every time I go Spenard Crossing, must have been somewhere else where there was more open water. I walked the snowy side path to where we once (not in 2016, however) had Cassin’s and Purple Finches. After hearing a distant Black-billed Magpie, I was delighted to have a Pacific Wren scold and flit across my path. Although I got to see it a few times as it ducked under and around the low fallen branches, I was never able to get a photo. It still made my day. Who needs new year birds anyway? I walked on and saw a few magpies, a Common Raven and a couple of Steller’s Jays.
As I walked back along the creek to my car, I was very happy to see an American Dipper had appeared and was on the ice near one of the small areas of open water.
I took a couple of videos of the dipper as it went in and out of the water. This is the best one; watch it eat the little fishy thing found in the freezing water:
When I got home from a music rehearsal this afternoon our yard was full of birds. In addition to the nearly ever-present Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks, for the first time there were two Hairy Woodpeckers going back and forth between the various suet feeders and the seed feeders.
A great way to end the year!
Tomorrow I plan to post photos of many of the people who have helped me this past year, so check it out to see if you, or anyone you know, is on the page.
ENDING MY ALASKA YEAR AT 307 SPECIES