May 24 – Birdy Birding Days

Two days ago I enjoyed birding with Don Cecile from British Columbia and yesterday I birded with Bev Agler from Juneau, both days in Anchorage. Birds photographed include Red-necked Grebes and Arctic Terns on nests at Potter Marsh, a White-crowned Sparrow (also in video), a Red-throated Loon at Lake Hood, Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers at Lake Hood, and a Tree Swallow at Lake Hood.

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Today began with birding in the sometimes quite heavy rain at Potter Marsh, and I almost quit. But then, after seeing very distant views of my first Pacific Loons of the year at Goose Lake in Anchorage, I decided to continue birding and went to Lake Spenard and Lake Hood. In addition to photographing a fairly close Common Loon, I spent a long time looking at the 100s of swallows (video below is a very tiny sampling of the swallows that covered most of both lakes except when a floatplane spooked them away for a while), mostly Violet-green and Tree, but also at least 10 Bank Swallows (finally photographed) and a single Cliff Swallow (not photographed). The dowitchers were still around, as were dozens of Greater Scaup and a few Red-necked Phalaropes.

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As I was sitting at the end of Floatplane Road trying to get better swallow photos, I heard a beautiful singing bird, and found a male House Finch singing in a sapling very near me (had thinner belly stripes than I remembered them having, but the song was that of a House Finch). I wonder if it is the same bird that was in Girdwood earlier this year.

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