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.

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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.

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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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