Recent Observations

Migrating Geese

Work and weather kept me inside for the most part over the last few days. Today I went out with a couple of other folks to look for birds.

Weather: It’s been rainy and windy with heavy rain and strong wind being pretty frequent. Today there was a brief opening in the clouds a little before noon.

Birds: A couple of people mentioned seeing owls around the SJ flume recently. They saw them in the morning and from their description, I think they saw Western Screech Owls.

There were lots of gulls in the channel today and it looked like there were probably several Black-legged Kittiwakes in among them.

There was a Great Blue Heron and several Buffleheads were in the lagoon near the wastewater treatment plant. There were also two or three Northern Flickers on Alice Island.

Out at Starrigavan there were three or four Red-necked Grebes out in the bay.

There was a dipper in Granite Creek and a dozen or so Harlequin Ducks at the mouth of the creek. Further down the shore were quite a few Black Turnstones.

On the way back into town we stopped and saw four Loons out off shore a little way. While we were stopped, I noticed a flock of geese flying over. Jeff Sauer (visiting from Juneau) noticed that they were white (it was difficult for me to tell against the overcast skies) and wondered if they might be Snow Geese. Marge said they could also be swans, but they were pretty far away to tell for sure. I did take a picture of most of the flock (see above). When I looked closely at the photo, I could see the underside of the primaries was dark compared to the rest of the bird. As best I can tell, this indicates these are Snow Geese.
Snow Geese

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