I haven’t been birding too much since I returned from my early June Nome visit. I finally made a quick visit out to Potter Marsh, primarily to remind myself of whether the boardwalk is completely handicapped-accessible, as I am hoping to gather some non-birders out there sometime this summer. After I ascertained that it is indeed quite accessible, I birded a bit, even though I had forgotten to take my binoculars (clear a major sin for a nutty birder). It was a very windy day, and most birds were staying out of a sight, but I did manage to see and photograph my first Alder Flycatcher for the year. I also hope to find them in Nome in early July when I return to Nome.
Although I probably will never get around to putting many more Nome pictures from early June on my blog, I have added a few below of a very cooperative Arctic Tern and very tame Red Phalaropes and a Red-necked Phalarope.
Less common, and a very welcome sighting in Nome was the waggle-tailed Common Sandpiper that hung around the Safety Sound Bridge.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what’s around Nome in early July.
On this trip to Nome I took too many pictures and saw too many birds (as if there is any such thing as too many birds) and have decided not to do a detailed discussion of the trip. There’s just too little time to even begin to tell a coherent story about the trip any time soon. So, for now, I’m going to try to content myself with showing a few highlights. Perhaps I’ll periodically show a few more as the days go by. We were delayed in departing Anchorage for a day, due to not enough visibility in Nome. I spent the first three (it should have been four) days as part of a Wilderness Birding Adventures group wonderfully led by Scott Hauser and Aaron Bowman.
The last three days I birded mostly on my own, taking time to try to nail down a few decent shots of a Bluethroat, which we had seen from a distance on the first day. I now have become very familiar with the unbelievably variable, yet still repetitive song of the Bluethroat. Following are few of the many photos of one of three Bluethroats that I found on Kougarok Road on June 7th, concluding with a song sampling. All three birds were singing and doing their aerial displays as I drove slowly by. Two of them didn’t sing for long, but the first one kept going energetically for about at least two hours, as I photographed it. It flew up and then landed on a couple of prominent shrubs and sang, over and over, sometimes quite near me, where I stood as motionless as I could (should you be interested I did NOT ever play a tape to start or prolong their singing).