Pine Grosbeaks and Cross Trail Observations

Overcast with periods of rain. Forecast clearing didn’t happen during daylight hours. This evening I could see the moon through a thin layer of clouds. Calm winds.

A handful of Pine Grosbeaks cooperated for nice looks at the Pioneer Home rose hedge.

I can’t seem to help myself when the opportunity arises to get photos of these birds. They are one of the more colorful species that occurs here, especially in winter months.

Perhaps someday I will end up with a photo that feels like I’ve solved the puzzle of getting ideal Pine Grosbeak photo, but I doubt it.

Two of the males I photographed had orange feathers still lingering. This raised questions for me about transition from juvenile to adult plumage, and the timing of molt.

Eating lunch at the Beak the chef showed us the gooseneck barnacles which will be featured on the menu tomorrow. I have seen them on the exposed rocky shores, but didn’t realize they are edible (or worth harvesting for food, in any case).

Kitty and I walked out the new section of the cross trail from old Sitka to the creek crossing.

They have made progress on the landings for the bridge since I was last there in late December. The far side looks built up and ready (to my untrained eyes), and they are working on the Starrigavan side.

I don’t remember previously noticing Carex livida is winter green. I can’t think of many (any?) other sedges around here which are. I was a little surprised to see how much of it was growing in some locations. It was enough to make me start to question whether I might be making a mistaken in the identity. Kitty took a closer look at a couple of plants and confirmed they were sedges.

I am curious about a green semi-crust I saw growing on some exposed soil. I’ve seen it (or something similar) elsewhere, but don’t know what it might be. I’ve wondered about an algal mat or bryophyte protonema. I took some pictures, but even with the macro capabilities, the details available were not sufficient to come to any conclusions.

At Swan Lake ice is still persisting up lake from the peninsula. However, the far upper end (well past the radio station) is open. I spotted a Ring-necked Duck up there, the first I’ve seen this winter.

This evening at ultimate the weather could hardly have been nicer. Calm wind and reasonable temperatures without rain.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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