Birds and Bryophyte

The kids and I walked around town today to see if we could pick up any birds that were missed on the Christmas Bird Count yesterday. We were able to add three to the list, Lesser Scaup, Herring Gull, and Hermit Thrush. We had hoped to find Bohemian Waxwings, which we had seen as recently as last Tuesday (two days before count week started), but were not successful in that regard.

While walking around the Baranof Street Cemetery, I noticed a patch of moss I had photographed a couple of years ago, but this time it had sporophytes, so I took pictures and made a small collection with hopes of getting it identified.

Read moreBirds and Bryophyte

No Thorofare Bay and More

Christmas Bird Count was held today in Sitka. After a quick morning trip through Totem Park, I was able to spend the bulk of the day birding by skiff in the bays south of town. Of particular note was my first trip into No Thorofare Bay – a body of water, which as the name implies, is difficult to access due to a very narrow opening. The relatively large opening behind the narrow entrance means a lot of water flows in and out with the tides, but we had good timing and had little trouble getting in and out just after high tide.

Highlights in the bay included 40 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. The water was exceptionally clear making it relatively easy to see the bottom below, especially in the shallower sections. It was fascinating to see the different looking marine flora and fauna that lives in the areas of high tidal currents.

Read moreNo Thorofare Bay and More