Mostly cloudy, temp in the low 50s, moderate (and increasing) east wind.
We arrived in Anchorage yesterday after an uneventful day of travel.
This morning, we did some usual birding around Anchorage.
We added one new mammal to our Alaska list — Red Squirrel.
We also added Steller’s Jay.
At Potters marsh, a kingfisher posed for us.
And at West Chester Lagoon, Barb spotted a cooperative Gadwall for me to photograph.
Barb also spotted a Rusty Blackbird while I was around the bend. We could not relocate it when I got back to her.
Shortly thereafter, a Merlin flew in and soon a flock of half-a-dozen magpies and several Steller’s Jays were involved — chasing and being chased through the treeline. This was still going on 20 minutes later as we left.
At Ship Creek, we saw some interesting behavior by a Magpie. It was down at the water’s edge, constantly chattering, and poking at and picking up various objects. At one point, it picked up an egg-shaped pebble (about 3/4 inch) and placed it into a crevice in a small log laying by the streamside. It then picked up a small twig (about 3 to 4 inches long) and placed it in the same crevice on top of the pebble. It then went over to the water, picked up another pebble, but dropped it in the water. It then fished out of the water a small wad of algae and laid it on the log it was standing on. It tried to pick up some more pebbles out of the water, but dropped all of them. It then pick up the algae and dropped it back into the water. All the while, chattering…
We have no idea what this was all about…
We arrived on Adak a little early, got unpacked and headed up to Clam Lagoon. We didn’t see any shorebirds or other birds out of the ordinary, so we drove around to the Seawall. As mentioned above, there were east winds. Usually on east winds, we can see the shearwaters and albatrosses flying by — although still pretty far out. However, as soon as we stopped and started scanning, we spotted shearwaters flying between us and Goose Rocks! Only once before had we seen them this close, and then it was only one bird.
Now there were a few dozen flying around and sitting on the water. There were many more flying by at a distance, but the closer ones were a treat.
This was the best view we had ever had of shearwaters from terra firma!
Barb had a glimpse of a small gull with a black hood, but it flew away before we could identify it. We hope it reappears.
It is 10:30 here. I am going to bed…