I got up early this morning to head out with Matt Kirchhoff to scout out possible locations for Marbled Murrelet research he plans to coordinate in the Sitka area. The dawn light was quite nice, but the wind and chilly temperatures were definitely noticable.
Weather: Another clear and cold night and day. This is the coldest it has been this early since I moved back in 2002. Today there was a little more wind than yesterday, but it still was not too bad. However, it was quite windy up at Blue Lake this morning when we were up there to check it out.
Birds: For the first time in a year and a half, I saw Pine Siskins. There was a small flock of them at Whale Park. A little later, I saw a small raptor of some sort. It flew in front of us as it was chasing a small bird. It landed in a nearby tree, but the light was dim and it was partially obscured by branches, so I did not get a very good look at it. I am not sure what kind of bird it was.
At Blue Lake, there were several flocks of ducks flying toward the water. I would guess they spent the night up on the lake and were heading out to salt water for the day.
When we were at Whale Park, there were several loons that we saw flying into Silver Bay. Murrelets and other sea birds were also heading into the bay.
I talked to someone today whose son had seen a ptarmigan in its winter white a week or two ago while deer hunting.
Other Notes: There were whales out in Eastern Channel again. I also talked to a guy who works for Allen Marine and he said there were a dozen or so Humpbacks around the pinnacles near Vitskari.
I talked to someone last night that said the bears seemed especially active on South Kruzof along the beach. He was not sure what they were getting at, but there were lots of tracks.