Recent Observations

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. My brother was in town and Melissa was busy, so I had more than the usual amount of time taking care of Connor and Rowan. During this time was also the last gasp (hopefully) of winter, and some warm spring weather.

Weather: The last week has been sunny and mostly fairly warm. There was a freeze the first couple of nights, but since then, it’s been above freezing at night. Thursday of last week it snowed.

I talked to someone who had talked to another person that gets up the mountains quite a bit, and he said there was more snow above 3000 feet this year than he’s ever seen before (so for a couple of decades at least, most likely). Certainly the mountains look well coated. I’ve noticed several south facing slopes with avalanche activity. Undoubtedly there were be many more avalanches before things settle down enough to get stable.

Birds: Few shorebirds have shown up so far, but there’s been a fair amount of migrating waterfowl. Among the shorebirds I have seen include Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers, a Marbled Godwit (yesterday), and a Pacific Golden Plover.

It seems to be a good year for Northern Pintails, and I’ve also seen Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeons, Eurasian Wigeons (at Port Krestof), and Gadwall (at Port Krestof).

9 Brant have been hanging out around Totem Park.

At Swan Lake the Cackling Goose continues to be present as does the Greater White-fronted Goose that arrived recently.

Other migrating birds that have shown up include Ruby-crowned Kinglets (which I heard singing in several locations today, for the first time), American Pipits (I saw for the first time yesterday), and Savannah Sparrows.

The wintering waterfowl is still around, including Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Common Mergansers, and lots Mallards (undoubtedly some are migrants as well).

Plants: Quite a few plants are up now. I’ve noticed a fair amount of frost damage to both leaves and early emerging flowers. Some blueberry bushes were hit especially hard, but others seem not to have been effected much at all.

Yesterday I noticed twisted stalk coming up (and picked a couple to eat), Stream Violet leaves coming up and in one location flower buds that had started to break open, Purple Sweet-cicely is up, but I have not seen flowers, Beach Greens were coming up yesterday as well.

Alder trees are sending out pollen in the warm weather.

Other Notes: Herring spawning seemed to be going pretty late this year. There was spawning off the park starting late last week and into Monday of this week.

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.
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