June 15 – Birdy Lakes Hood and Spenard

Today I just had time to check out Lakes Hood and Spenard to see what if anything was around. Although numbers of each species were not huge, there was quite a bit of bird activity.

Swallows were very evident – Violet-green Swallows flying about Lake Spenard (not photographed), Tree Swallows flying and sitting on various rooftops and plane parts on both lakes, and Bank Swallows on Lake Hood flying, sitting on buildings and fighting each other.

Shorebirds included both Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs (at least one each), a Spotted Sandpiper heard flying out over the lake, and a Red-necked Phalarope sitting and preening and stretching and swimming near where they have been for weeks now on Lake Hood. Be careful you don’t get seasick as you watch the two videos. Also note the phalarope’s reaction in the first video to a magpie flying over (magpie is not visible in the video but you can tell when it flies over). I was hoping to catch the phalarope spinning in the water, but perhaps the water was too deep and too wavy for that to be of much use in finding food.

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There were a few ducks: Mallards and Greater Scaup, two of the latter photographed as they looked up, possibly at a plane going over.

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The only sparrows that I saw and heard by the lakes were Savannah Sparrows, some singing from building-tops and others out in the grassy edges. I also heard a White-crowned Sparrow singing along the road as I left.

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There were a couple of Red-necked Grebes but too far away to try to photograph. The Red-throated Loon was dozing in a less busy part of Lake Hood than where I have usually seen it, only waking up for a short time before tucking its beak under its wing again.

Other birds seen included a couple of Bonaparte’s Gulls, a Mew Gull, starlings and an American Robin.

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