February 6 – White-winged Crossbill

I wandered out past the airport and then to the Turnagain neighborhood today. It had been very foggy this morning. The sun was now trying to break through and mostly succeeding, and the trees were once again spectacularly covered with rime ice.

There were few birds out by the airport. Neighborhood birds were the usual chickadees (Boreal and Black-capped) and Red-breasted Nuthatch, plus a single female White-winged Crossbill calling high in a spruce tree and not providing much opportunity for a good picture.

In our yard the usual birds were around too, including a single Pine Grosbeak and the Common Redpoll flock of about 20 that was busy on and off during the day at a few of the feeders.

February 4 – Recovery Continues

The antibiotics have reduced my fever and are gradually clearing up my head and hopefully my lungs. Today was a beautiful sunny day and most of the lightly frosted branches lost their frost. Until the weather warmed up from the earlier 4 degrees to just over 20 degrees I worked inside, finally getting to work on research on facts about Texas and Alaska for my new book, and doing some actual writing on the book.

In the early afternoon I ventured forth to check out Cuddy Pond today and saw the previously reported Common Merganser, as well as the two Common Goldeneyes and the Mallards.

At Spenard Crossing, the usual woodland birds were around (Black-capped Chickadees, Black-billed Magpies, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Common Redpolls, Common Raven and Downy Woodpecker). Although there are larger openings in the ice on the creek than when I last visited, I did not see the American Dipper that had been there a few weeks ago before the creek had nearly completely frozen over.

It was nice to be out birding for fun and not to just be trying for new species, although I was happy to add the merganser to my non-big-year year list for 2017.


February 2 – Recovering in Anchorage


Yesterday after a couple of days of an over 101 degree temperature (me not the weather), I finally went to the doctor and learned after some tests and X-rays that I have bronchitis. Antibiotics and more rest and things feel better. I gave my fourth talk for my bird class and did a little birding today and photographed some Bohemian Waxwings before heading home to take it easy again.

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Yard birds photographed included Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls.

I was also was able to photograph a Hairy and a Downy Woodpecker on the same feeder (but at different times) giving a very good size comparison.