April 28 – Ketchikan Visit

I have just returned from Ketchikan, where I gave a bird-talk last night. I arrived there on Thursday (4/26) afternoon, and birded then, much of Friday, and this morning before my flight back to Anchorage. It’s a totally different world there, lush and green moss and budding trees and flowers in yards, and a bit warmer than Anchorage.

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Highlights were mainly at Ward Lake, one of my favorite birding spots there, and included lunchtime time birding with Steve Heinl and Andy Piston yesterday. Photos below are of: Varied Thrushes (everywhere I went), Red-breasted Sapsuckers (photos of vigorously scratching and preening bird, and their favorite tree at Ward Lake), Golden-crowned Sparrows, a Great Blue Heron, Band-tailed Pigeons (north of Ward Lake), Savannah Sparrows, and Townsend’s Warbler, all new birds for the year.

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Also photographed and new for the year was a typically skulky Pacific Wren. I recorded the song with my video camera – don’t bother to try to find the wren in the video – it is not there.

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(Note: I think there’s a video above this sentence, but it’s not showing in my version of the blog post).

Other new birds for the year include: Fox and Lincoln’s Sparrows, Belted Kingfisher, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Red-winged Blackbird, Tree and Barn Swallows, Killdeer, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbird (1 each), Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Pipit, Hooded Merganser, Hermit Thrush, and Bonaparte’s Gulls [no, I’m not doing a big year, but I just have to pay attention to new birds for the year, every year].

Tomorrow I go to Nome for my third trip there of the year. It’s supposed to snow and blow the whole time, so it may be difficult to find anything, but we shall see.

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