June 14 – Thrushes and Blackbirds

I did bird the last couple of days but did not get many pictures or see any new birds for the year. I did finally see and photograph a Western Wood-Pewee (heard previous days).

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Today I drove south past Girdwood and turned off the main highway on to the road to Portage Glacier where I walked on the Trail of Blue Ice beginning at the roadside pulloff area that is about 2.5 miles down the road from the highway intersection. Everything was beautiful, the mountains, the trees, the understory vegetation and the birds when I could see them.

Most of the sound was of warblers and thrushes. Mostly the warblers were Yellow, Wilson’s and Orange-crowned Warblers and Northern Waterthrush. The thrushes were Varied Thrushes and Hermit Thrushes (photos), many of which were carrying food, as well as unseen Swainson’s Thrushes.

On my walk back to my car, I heard but did not see a very loud Gray-cheeked thrush with its thin reedy song.

On the drive back to Anchorage I spent some time along the road south of Girdwood where the I had seen the male Red-winged Blackbird earlier. My conclusion that there actually were two blackbirds was documented as I was photographing a male and a female flew by and was caught in one of the photos.

PS. For those of you not in Alaska, you might be interested to know that today we have 19 hours and 17 minutes between sunrise and sunset, which is about a minute longer than yesterday.


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