Monday, February 10, 2020 McKay’s Buntings!Seward, Alaska
Sunny! Windy! Mid 20s! What a dramatic difference in the weather! Snow streamers blew off the surrounding spectacular mountains decorated with jagged blue shadows of adjacent peaks. What a day!
Excited to refind the Short-eared Owls, and beat the high tide this time, I arrived at the tide flats at the head of the bay before dawn. This was not a huge accomplishment as the sun peeked over the mountains at a leisurely 9:47 am. Nonetheless, I felt part of the world, walking from the remnants of night into the possibilities of a brand-new day.
The tide was, for better or worse, far out so I didn’t refind any of the geese. I did refind two pairs of NORTHERN PINTAILS with MALLARDS and GADWALL. As I walked along enjoying the beauty of the snow drifts, frozen jellies, and scenery, I spotted a flock of small birds briefly lifting up and back down, far ahead in the beach rye grass. SNOW BUNTINGS!
As I slowly approached, I managed to get a few photos before they skittered up and away. Darn! But wait! They circled back and I got a few more quick shots. I hoped to see them on the way back but they disappeared.
When I got home and checked my photos, I found two McKAY’S BUNTINGS with the 13 Snow Buntings. So, no owls, but what a wonderful and unexpected find!
I checked the Waterfront, hoping to watch another herring frenzy, but all was quiet. I did find an adult THAYER’S GULL hunkered down against the wind with other Gulls, all facing north.
Every day is different, and one never knows with birds!
Happy Birding!Carol GriswoldSeward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter
For photos, please visit my blog at Sporadic Bird from Seward, Alaska