It’s looking like we might have a more ‘normal’ winter this year, as the temperatures have been around freezing and we’ve already been receiving some snow. This is in contrast to previous years since I have been back, when temperatures were routinely in the 40s into December and January. This morning the two students in the birding seminar and I braved the wind and snow to go for a birding walk through Totem Park.
Weather: It started to snow yesterday and continued on today. There are at least a couple of inches on the ground now. It’s difficult to say how much it snowed, because it’s been fairly warm and the snow compacts easily. The wind blew a fair bit when snow squalls moved through, but it did not seem too steady. There were a couple of short sunny breaks between snow flurries today.
Birds: Yesterday there was a small flock of American Wigeons on the campus lawn.
On the walk this morning: there was a juvenile gull in the flume by Rasmusson, a Great Blue Heron at the confluence of the flume and Indian River, several Mallards and Common Mergansers as well as an American Dipper in Indian River, a Brown Creeper foraging on trunks near the trail, a Winter Wren near the trail by the estuary, two Common Goldeneyes (the first I’ve seen this year) at the river mouth, a couple of small ducks (I think teal) flew off from the estuary, several gulls were out a ways from the river mouth with others on the beach near the battle site. Also near the battle site were three Black Turnstones and three small birds, perhaps Pine Siskins, flew out from the alders near the beach. Thirty or so Mallards were sleeping in while floating on the water near the beach in front of the Visitor Center and 6 smaller birds that I think were Green-winged Teal were in among them. A short distance away were 9 or so Barrow’s Goldeneye. Chickadees and Golden-crowned Kinglets were foraging in the spruce trees at the entrance to the lower parking lot of the park. Finally, there were several Buffleheads and a Barrow’s Goldeneye in the water near Sage Beach. We also saw several Ravens and juvenile Bald Eagles flying by at various points along the way.
This afternoon there was a Golden-crowned Sparrow foraging in the lawn in front of Allen Auditorium.