May 12 – Busy, Busy Fun Birding

Everywhere (almost) that I have gone recently there are new birds for the year, at least for Anchorage. Some of the highlights follow.  Both yesterday and today I went south to Girdwood, and yesterday I went beyond to Portage. Both days I also birded at Potter Marsh and in Anchorage.


At Girdwood yesterday and today there were many shorebirds, but I did not have my spotting scope yesterday. New year-birds there included Semipalmated Plover (photo), Pectoral, Least and Western Sandpipers, and Lesser Yellowlegs.


At the Trail of Blue Ice beginning at the Moose Flats parking lot there were numerous singing Fox Sparrows and I saw my first Orange-crowned Warbler, Hermit Thrushes, and Solitary Sandpiper for the year.

At Potter Marsh yesterday there was a Northern Flicker, and today there were Red-necked Phalaropes (also seen at Hood Lake in Anchorage).

I walked quite a way up the trail at Windy Point this morning (south of our Anchorage house about 19 miles) and briefly saw two fly-by Townsend’s Solitaires and my first Golden-crowned Sparrows of the year. I also got very close to three Mountain Goats (I believe that’s what they are).

At Westchester Lagoon and Hood Lake I saw my first Bonaparte’s Gulls of the year amid the Arctic Terns.

At Hood Lake the Red-throated Loon that I had seen a couple of days ago landed near me, posing for photos.

There was also a distant Canvasback out among the scaup. I haven’t included a photo here, but right after I wrote the above I learned there were two Redheads at Spenard Crossing and I raced over there and saw them.

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I am including a few recent videos below: 1) singing Golden-crowned Sparrow; 2) swimming Red-necked Phalaropes; and 3) a sometimes noisy Red-throated Loon (with background noise of nearby floatplanes taking off).


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