December 15 – Christmas Bird Count, Anchorage

Today was the Anchorage CBC. Due to the short days, a full day of birding was about 5-plus hours. The temperature was just below 20 degrees, and there was little wind, so it was a very pleasant though mostly cloudy day to be birding. My assigned area, as for the past couple of years, was along Chester Creek and nearby neighborhoods. Most of my day was spent walking on the newly snow-covered trail along the creek. Most of the birds seen were the usual ones for the area and season, with one notable exception (see below).

Scenes from my walk follow:

Ducks seen were Mallards and a single Common Goldeneye:

Although in previous years there were multiple American Dippers in the area, I only found one of them today:

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Other birds seen by me include: Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Common Ravens, Black-billed Magpies, two Pine Grosbeaks, and a handful of American Robins.

The highlight birds for me, two of them, were Varied Thrushes, which no one else saw today on the count, as they are basically not known to winter here! They appeared to be a male and a female (or possibly a young bird), which were perched with robins and were not seen with each other.

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Scenes from the count-down gathering this evening are below. If you are interested in total bird counts, etc. for the complete Anchorage count circle, you will need to check the Anchorage Audubon website in days to come after everything gets officially tallied.





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