March 9 – Juneau, Day 1

There was a bit of a mix-up the night of March 8, when I arrived at my reserved Juneau motel to find that it was unexpectedly closed for repairs! It ended well when I found a different motel. It was beautiful on the morning of March 9th and I went birding at one of my favorite Juneau sites, the Mendenhall Wetlands. Although it was considerably warmer (9 degrees above zero) than Anchorage in the morning, the wind made birding quite uncomfortable, so after I’d seen five Hooded Mergansers and a couple of other more usual species, I got in my car and did some land birding. I added a few birds to my year list, which of course is not my big goal this year. Included were: Northwestern Crow, Common Merganser, Glaucous-winged and Mew Gulls and Belted Kingfisher.

In the afternoon after doing a short radio interview about my upcoming big year talk I birded with Brenda Wright at Fish Creek. It was a very enjoyable walk, which although there were windy portions, was often sheltered from the wind. There I added American Wigeon (many), Killdeer (3) and Pacific Wren to my year list. This non-big year I do not even know how many species I have seen this year in Alaska, but of course I can figure it out.

I ended the day giving my big year talk to a good-sized crowd at Juneau Audubon, a very enjoyable experience with a great group!

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