April 1 – First Gulls of the Year, Anchorage

I birded a couple of sites in Anchorage today. Potter Marsh is still a big field of snow, the only activity that I noted while driving along the marsh being a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings flitting low over the snow.

At Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area the birds were very talkative including a Common Redpoll, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, and Steller’s Jay that I photographed, and not photographed Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-billed Magpies, Boreal Chickadee, distant Mallards and unidentified unseen gulls calling on the snow-covered mudflats.

My final stop was at Cuddy Pond to see if there were gulls there, and there were, the first I’ve seen this year. There were about five that appeared to be Anchorage’s typical Glaucous-winged/Herring Gull hybrids. As my attention drifted from the gulls to the ducks and I started to scan the ducks to see what was around beside the zillion Mallards and the single Barrow’s Goldeneye (nothing different noted), a car drove in and Peter Scully leaped out to photograph one of the gulls, which he pointed out to me as being a Thayer’s Gull that was probably the returning one that had been there last year. My photograph shows it next to one of the presumed hybrid gulls.

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