June 26 – South to Girdwood area

This morning I drove south of Anchorage to beyond Girdwood, to the Moose Flats area near the beginning of the road to Portage Glacier.

On the way I briefly looked over Potter Marsh, and then drove on to see whether the Red-winged Blackbirds were still around just south of Girdwood. The male was sitting up, preening, chirping periodically and flying about both on my way down to Moose Flats and on my way back, but the female was mostly invisible, just heard a few times.

There also were Cliff Swallows and Arctic Terns flying about, and a small goldeneye family.

At Moose Flats there were a few flowers in bloom, and a talkative Wilson’s Snipe, Hermit and Swainson’s Thrushes, a smattering of warblers (Yellow, Wilson’s, Yellow-rumped (photo)), a couple of Fox Sparrows, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins.

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On the drive back toward Girdwood I stopped when I heard a singing Song Sparrow where I had heard and photographed one the last time I was down there. While I was looking around a car pulled up to see what I was seeing, and the people got out and started taking pictures. I was amazed, thinking not only had they found the Song Sparrow but were actually interested in photographing it. Then I realized there was a moose in the brush that I had not seen and probably would not have seen if they other car had not stopped. I never did see the Song Sparrow.

As I neared Anchorage and drove past Potter Marsh, I saw my first baby Red-necked Grebe for the year on the back of a parent, but they were too far out for photos. I did get photos of a scaup family.

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