March 1 – Anchorage Winter Birding

We have had a couple of blue sky days with each night being colder than the last. Last night it was minus 6 degrees at our house but now it is up to about 15 degrees. Tonight is expected to be colder I believe. We either get snow, of which I am quite tired, or it gets colder. Either way, it’s clearly mid-winter. The birds are definitely hungrier lately.

In spite of some out-of-the-house nonbirding commitments the last couple of days and the hours I’m spending each day writing, writing, writing, I did go to bird two places in Anchorage that weren’t my back yard. On February 27th I went to Spenard Crossing and was delighted to see that due to the warmer weather before then, the creek was much more open and the American Dipper was back. The Mallards also had much more room to swim and a Common Merganser was periodically coming up and then diving under ice to come up in another part of the creek.

On February 28th I went to Potter Marsh. Things were slow (only Common Ravens, Black-billed Magpies, Black-capped Chickadees and Common Redpolls) and there was only a tiny area of open water, but it was a beautiful day and the beautiful blue shadows on the snow distracted me from birding so it did not matter.

I am looking forward to going to Juneau in a week to give my big-year talk, and to get back to birding one of the most-visited areas during my big year.

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