May 26 – Birds Along the Water

Yesterday and today I wandered along some of the Anchorage waterways. Yesterday at Spenard Crossing (which was green and lovely and very different from winter’s icy scene), I got my first close-up view of a Spotted Sandpiper this year.

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Mew Gulls were keeping watch, as well as huddled in the grass (not shown).

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While I was waiting for the Spotted Sandpiper to fly back down the stream, I was entertained by a couple of Black-capped Chickadees.

Today I went to Ship Creek at the peak of high tide, the highest I had seen it there. There was very little exposed land in the big tidal lake. Two Sandhill Cranes shared a small island with a Whimbrel and Greater Yellowlegs (latter two species not shown).

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A Hudsonian Godwit walked in the shallow near-shore water near me, the first time I had been close to one this year.

Near the bridge over Ship Creek a Semipalmated Plover also gave me good views as it foraged on the mud.

Finally, there were gulls, mostly big gulls. I usually try to ignore them as just too confusing, but I did take pictures of what I believe is a Glaucous-winged Gull (and was not one of the many nearby Herring-Glaucous-winged hybrids). You gull experts – feel free to comment.

In a couple of hours I will head north to Wasilla, not to bird (although I will of course do some birding), but mainly to dance at the Dancing Bears Dance Camp that lasts all Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully, my body will also last a couple of days.

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