This morning we woke up in Anchorage to the first below-30 degrees weather for the fall. At our house it was 27 degrees and the weather was crisp, and there were scary areas of black ice on the roads for a few hours.
At 8:30 about 15 of us joined Andrew Fisher on a field trip to a number of Anchorage watering holes (for birds, of course). We met just north of Cuddy Pond and walked over there to see what was around. Waterfowl included about 75 Canada Geese, about 50 Mallards, a Common Merganser and about three American Wigeons.
At Spenard Crossing were more Mallards (of course), Gadwalls, Greater Scaup, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes (and possibly a Barrow’s), and Northern Shovelers, plus a few gulls (Glaucous-winged type plus Mew). In the woods there were Red-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, a Downy Woodpecker and a Brown Creeper. Similar waterfowl were at Westchester Lagoon.
Our final stops were along Lakes Spenard and Hood. In addition to the usual lake ducks, highlights there were a Long-tailed Duck and a Northern Shrike.
It was a great trip, but unfortunately we ran out of time before we could check out other lakes and creeks. I guess I’ll have to go back soon to see what’s around at the other places before things start freezing over.