At least three still-downy Pied-billed Grebes were hanging out on Swan Lake waiting to be fed by parents. Also today, Connor found a green caterpillar crawling on the sidewalk. He brought it home and we were going to try to find it a food plant, but discovered it just wanted to bury itself in dirt, so we left it in a small bucket of dirt inside a rearing cage on the porch to see what might emerge.
Pied-billed Grebes are Very Rare in spring around Sitka, so I certainly was not looking for this bird to show up when we briefly stopped to take a look at the birds on Swan Lake this afternoon. I probably would have missed it entirely while I was checking out the ducks with my binoculars if … Read 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.
Look carefully for the second juvenile As far as I know this is the first breeding record for Pied-billed Grebe in Sitka, and it seems to be one of only a handful in the Alaska (a couple in Ketchikan and one from the Copper River). This summer I first noticed Pied-billed Grebe on Swan Lake … Read more
While relaxing on a bench at Swan Lake, I happened to notice an unusual bird pop up to the surface. I wasn’t sure whether to believe it when I thought I saw a Pied-billed Grebe, but after waiting a while longer, I saw it resurface several more times and was able to confirm (and get … Read more
These photos were all taken at Swan Lake this afternoon. See Pied-billed Grebe Observations for a more complete description of the events these pictures partially record.