Bryophytes and Birds

Today was the last day of the Great Backyard Bird Count, and I spent some time today doing a little birding. This morning I kept track of what I was seeing while on a walk through Totem Park, then this afternoon I spent some time ranging a bit further along the road system specifically looking for birds. Overall, I didn’t make too much effort this weekend, but I’m sort of curious how many species I ended up recording anyway. I think I might have made it close to 40, but haven’t compiled the data yet to be sure.

On my way to the park this morning I took a side trip to Indian River in case the Wood Duck was around. I did not find it, but I did notice a nice arrangement of three different species of bryophytes growing in adjacent patches on the flume pipe. I recognized two of the species, and had a pretty good idea about the third, but wanted to get it confirmed (and will do so before uploading those photos).

The tide was high during the walk through park, but I was happy to see the Spotted Sandpiper down at the end of the park along the beach. It’s been reported by multiple people since the last time I saw it (back in November). Spotted Sandpipers are only considered accidental in winter in Southeast Alaska, so this is kind of an exceptional occurrence.

Weather-wise temperatures started were over 50 by mid-morning and slowly climbed to a peak of 56 (that I noticed). Around here, that’s more like a cool summer day than what you might expect mid-winter. It was interesting to notice some variation, both gusts of warm wind (it was fairly breezy today) and pockets of cooler – in particular, it seemed distinctly cooler at Starrigavan. Plants, both domestic and wild, are really starting to have the buds break and even look like they’re getting ready to open up.

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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