Yesterday I birded with Carolyn Noble and Susan Roy before their scheduled birding trip to Nome. We visited some of my favorite spots, including Hood Lake, where the well-known and often-photographed Red-throated Loon came within a couple of feet of me. It is a very odd experience to be standing on shore and look down at a loon and then be splashed when the loon dives.
We also went to an area along the lake where there were five Spotted Sandpipers all displaying and calling (not all are shown in the picture), while a Savannah Sparrow steadfastly kept up his song.
We also went to Westchester Lagoon and the nearby coastal trail, where there were five Sandhill Cranes very near the trail.
Today I drove up Arctic Valley Road nearly becoming part of the Arctic Valley Run that I had not known was going to be there. There were five arctic hares spaced out along the road, a couple of which stayed on the road as I drove by.
I also was able to get my first-of-the-year photo of a distant Townsend’s Warbler and another of a perched up Fox Sparrow.
I did have time before the run was to occur to walk along the trail at the top of the road, where a few flowers were in bloom.
Back at Hood Lake, which is becoming nearly a daily destination for me, there were at least four Red-necked Phalaropes, one of which tamely swam right next to me on the shore and another one of which seemed to be keeping company with a Least Sandpiper.
I really enjoy just going out and birding wherever sounds like an interesting place to bird without worrying (very much) about whether any “new” birds will be around.