May 30 – Not So Action-Packed in Anchorage

I am sure someone could write a slow soap opera using the facts about the Mallards in our yard yesterday evening. Facts: Mallard pair arrives about 7:45 pm, and mostly just sits around and sleeps. Male leaves about 8:35, and 10 minutes later a second female arrives, but leaves 4 minutes later. Male arrives (same male?) about 9 pm. About 9:36 original female and male depart. All they did when here was sleep and slowly walk around the yard poking their beaks in the grass. I wonder if any of these ducks have nests.

Today I began my birding at Oceanview Bluff Park for my fourth and last Birds ‘n’ Bogs survey of the year. The temperature was just above freezing. Basically nothing happened although I did see and hear 19 species, one of which was new for the year in Anchorage, a Gray Jay saying a few things and disappearing (not photographed). I never saw any of the survey’s goal species and only heard a Greater Yellowlegs a couple of times in the hour I was there. A couple of Orange-crowned Warblers sang, as did a Dark-eyed Junco.

After that I drove up Arctic Valley Road.

There was a little more activity there, including three arctic hares hopping on the road, both Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes, some of which were singing, and Fox Sparrows singing. Not photographed were Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Orange-crowned, Wilson’s, Yellow (new for year) and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Golden-crowned and Lincoln’s Sparrows and Common Redpoll.

Highlight of the trip though was a munching porcupine, barely moving up in the leafy tree.

Although the video shows that the porcupine is alive (and not a clump of branches) as it munches and scratches itself, it is definitely not lively.

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