May 5 – A Bit More of Anchorage Spring

I spent a couple of hours this morning briefly checking a few more Anchorage birding areas. I started at Spenard Crossing but not easily finding anything new, went over to Westchester Lagoon. There, new year-birds were a single Northern Shoveler and five Arctic Terns (at least) near to and on the closest island to the parking lot with Mew Gulls and Canada Geese.

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At the boat dock area on Ship Creek, there was a single Sandhill Crane grazing and three swans (presumably Trumpeter) far out on the mud. The latter flew off soon after I arrived but the crane stayed. Also there were five Green-winged Teal, Canada Geese, and miscellaneous gulls.

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I walked upstream a bit on the sidewalk, where many of the plants were budding out.

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There were three Common Mergansers in the stream, two of which engaged in a bit of X-rated activity.

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Nearby there was a noisy altercation among three Mew Gulls.

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The highlight for me, however, was a small bird that flew high into a sapling and stayed there. It surprised me to see that it was a Merlin (it had seemed much smaller).

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I won’t be able to bird for awhile in Anchorage (or Alaska) as I will be on my way to see Lower 48 spring warblers in Ohio and be on a panel of women birders at the Greatest Week in American Birding next week. It will be fun to immerse myself in birds, most of which I will not ever be able to see in Alaska.

 

 

 

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