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.
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.
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.
(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.