Daily Observations

Glaucous-winged Gull eating Sea Cucumber

On yesterday’s birding class walk, we went to Swan Lake, then down to ANB Harbor. Today I spent most of the day inside working on culling photos from the past month or two (both to free up harddrive space and to get closer to get them processed).

Weather: Friday was overcast and a little chilly, but winds were calm. Today started similarly, but by midday it had started clearing, and it was partly cloudy as the sun went down.

Birds: On the bird walk we observed quite a few different species. There were juncos and chickadees at a feeder on Jeff Davis, Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls along Park Street and European Starlings along Degroff. Ravens, crows, pigeons, and gulls were seen throughout the walk. At Swan Lake, most of the birds were at the lower end of the lake. (There had been a fuel spill into the creek that feeds the lake, and the previous night people had worked to contain the spill, so there were absorbant pads on the surface which probably discouraged the birds from staying near the penninsula.) We saw several Ring-necked Ducks, Gulls (including the first year Glaucous Gull), Mallards, and two American Wigeons (a female, in addition to the male that has been at the lake recently). There was also a Great Blue Heron that flew over the lake while we were there.

On the way to ANB Harbor we saw more Redpolls and a couple of Song Sparrows at a feeder on Observatory Street. There were a couple of Long-tailed Ducks near the harbor and many more further out in the channel. There were also many Scaup in the channel, though they were too far away for me to identify to species. Along the waterfront between ANB Harbor the base of the bridge, we saw a couple of Pelagic Cormorants. In the cove at the town end of the bridge there were several Mallards and a Common Merganser male.

On my way back to campus (we went our separate ways after looking at the birds in the cove), I saw a Glaucous-winged Gull eating a sea cucumber in Crescent Harbor (see photo above). I didn’t realize sea cucumbers would be in shallow water this time of year, the tide was not all that low. There was also a loon between the two fingers closest to Sheldon Jackson Campus.

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