March 24-25 – 2017 Big Anchorage Birding Day

Anchorage Audubon’s Big Anchorage Birding Day just finished, going from 5 pm on 3/24 to 5 pm on 3/25. I participated as part of the Twisted Lister team for the third year in a row. Four of us – Louann Feldmann, Kenna Sue Trickey, Sue Westervelt and I spent all of the daylight hours and many of the dark hours in that period going from Anchorage south to Portage and back yesterday, then today all around Anchorage, then to Girdwood (for a very rare to the area House Finch that was reported midday today) and back to Anchorage. Temperatures ranged from about zero degrees this morning, which was a bit nippy, to the mid-20s, which in the sun was great!

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Highlights of our 27 species for me: the many Common Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks and Pine Siskins, a Merlin dashing through a bird feeder area in Girdwood, a Belted Kingfisher (and maybe 2) near Girdwood, a singing American Dipper, the Hawfinch that is continuing in Anchorage, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches in the hills above south Anchorage (distant photo of one), the Common Goldeneye that has wintered here, the first American Wigeon of the year among the Mallards at Cuddy Pond and the Girdwood House Finch, which was singing loudly when we arrived.

We also had a few moose the last two days and gorgeous scenery.

It was a great 24 hours, finished by a Tex-Mex dinner where we learned what everyone else and seen and missed, had fun talking to the other birders who participated, and also learned that we tied for third place, not as good as hoped and not as bad as feared.

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