Fall Equinox

While on a walk at Totem Park this morning, I had the chance to sit for a little while and soak up the warmth of the sun pouring through a break in the clouds. With fall equinox marking the crossover, such moments will become ever more precious as we move through the seasons of darkness. During my pause, I noticed some erosion features on the beach from recent high water, though nothing significant enough to change the main channel (though it seems like that could happen some day in the not too distant future).

There are still many gulls around the river mouth, though in the cursory scans I made today, I didn’t notice anything unusual. There was a flock of Black Turnstones, quite a few Savannah Sparrows, a couple or more territorial Song Sparrows, and an expected pair of Pectoral Sandpipers, all out on the flats at the end of the park.

Coming around to where I had a view of the west and northwest, it was interesting to see the billowing cloud formations. The apparent rate of change of distant clouds makes it difficult to perceive the dynamic nature of their existence (time lapse photography is nice for that), but the features were striking enough at times that I could tell they had changed even after just a couple of minutes.

I ended up spending a little while at Sage Beach trying to get photos of a pair of Red Crossbills. Recently they routinely have been seen on the beach (apparently feeding) and I’m wondering if it has something to do with getting nutrients for nesting (though I would suspect that would be more important for the female, and it seems like both are down there). Given the consistency with which these crossbills are down there, I’m thinking they probably are nesting nearby.

I spotted a young Pigeon Guillemot in Crescent Harbor that I first heard about on Friday. It’s interesting that it seems to be sticking around. I got some photos of it with a food item that was clearly a large-ish shrimp, though I’m not sure if it will be possible to tell what species.

This afternoon after Tlingit class it was raining pretty hard from heavy looking clouds (aawag̱éet). The rain continued for some time (including my walk home).

(photos to come)

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