September 27 – Anchorage Birding

We had all these beautiful sunny days recently (many temperature records broken in September due to much higher than usual temperatures), and I was lulled into thinking we’d have more of them – until this morning when a light rain started. Then I raced out to Potter Marsh to try to squeeze in some birding before the heavier rain. By the time I got there it was raining, so I birded by car along the road for a half hour. After seeing some Mallards, I saw two white lumps out in the water and at first was in horror at the thought that it was two dead swans.

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But, no they were alive, two adults, foraging underwater. Later there were four more adults and two young swans.

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I was glad I had driven along the marsh because when later when the rain essentially stopped and I went to walk along the boardwalk, I could not see the swans that I had seen when I drove along the south end of the marsh.

In addition to swans, there were a couple of dozen Mallards, a dozen American Wigeons and a few Northern Pintails (not photographed) seen in the marsh as I drove along the road.

Along the boardwalk I was surprised to see that there were still 14 Greater Yellowlegs and a single dowitcher around in addition to a few more Mallards, a Green-winged Teal and a Common Merganser.

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The biggest surprise, however, was the perched up bird along the boardwalk that turned out to be a Townsend’s Solitaire, my first for the year (admittedly most of the year my birding has been in Nome). As I was taking its picture, it dove down into the brushy saplings and I did not see it again.



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