Daily Observations

The Pyramids from Sage Beach

The weather has warmed in the last couple of days, but I’ve not spent a lot of time outside. I did get out to Starrigavan briefly yesterday to look for an unusual gull that was reported, but I only had a short time to spend there.

Weather: The weather has warmed, and the snow is melting quickly. Temperatures have been in the 40s with plenty of wind and occasional rain. There’s a high wind warning for tonight, with winds to 35 mph and gusts up to 60 mph forecast.

Birds: I have not seen too many birds around campus lately, though I’ve not really been looking. There have been ravens, eagles perched in the trees along Lincoln Street, gulls flying by, and various duck species in the harbor and along the shore near the hatchery.

Marge called me yesterday and left a message that they had seen what she thought was a Kumlien’s Gull. I wasn’t able to catch her before I had to go out there (in order to take advantage of a very limited window of opportunity). There were many gulls there, but I was not quite sure what I was looking for. I knew that it would probably be a bird with lighter plumage, and I assumed it was an adult, so that’s where I tended to focus. I found out later when was I was able to talk to Marge that it was actually probably a second year bird, but it was noticably pale. I took several photos of the flocks of gulls, but to this point I have not noticed anything unusual hiding among the Thayer’s and Glaucous-winged Gulls.

The Trumpeter Swans were still there, as well as a whole slew of Mallards. I heard a couple of birds calling that sounded like muted high-pitched geese. I couldn’t quite figure out what they were at first, but finally decided they were probably the Green-winged Teal. The calls were different than I have heard before, but as best I could tell that’s what I was looking at (conditions were not the greatest for viewing, and I had left my binoculars at home).

While I was there, I also flushed a bird I presume was a Wilson’s Snipe. Of course I didn’t actually see it until it suddenly took off only 10-15 feet away from me, so my look at it was not so great.

Connor noticed several bird droppings on our porch step a couple of days ago when the snow was still much deeper. I suspect they were from a Song Sparrow that I have seen before in our carport (though I have not noticed it lately).

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