"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Birding and Whaling in Seward

My birding buddy Leilani came down from the MatSu Valley last Sunday, in preparation for a whale watching cruise we booked for Monday.   Shortly after she arrived, we went birding in Seward.

The very first bird we saw was a hawk of some sort.   It was too far away to get a definite ID, but it foretold what we found when we reached the most prolific birding spot in Seward:   nothing.   The spot has been hunted by hawks and the birds are elsewhere.

Most likely a sharp-shinned hawk.

The sky was blue and clear but a nasty wind chilled us when we were out in it too long.   It also stirred up the water of Resurrection Bay so there weren't many sea birds to be found.

We did see pigeon guillemots in a protected harbor, though.   They are a first for me.   Unfortunately, they were too far away to get a decent photo.

A little post-mating celebration.

Otter tracks on the beach.

We checked out a few other places.   In the Seward Lagoon, a small body of water near the small boat harbor, the common goldeneyes were still involved in courting behavior.   The posturing and displays were so entertaining, I could watch them for hours.

 Even the hens got into the act.

No, dear.   The head must go back even farther.

Like that, Hon.

More entertainment came in the form of common mergansers bathing in the lagoon.

A head stand.

Preening time on shore.

Joined by her mate.

Along Lowell Point Road we were treated to a small flock of harlequin, one of the prettiest waterfowl to visit Alaska.

Back in town, we cruised the campgrounds that line the shore of Resurrection Bay and spotted a group of gulls and Northwestern crows around a family having a picnic.   Apparently, the birds had some pizza crusts and were in a feeding frenzy.

Northwestern crow

Glaucous winged gull

Glaucous wing gull

Complete with a bald eagle fly-by.

Back in Moose Pass that evening, we drove to Tern Lake tocheck on the trumpeter swans and this juvenile bald eagle posed nicely for us.

The weather the next day--Monday morning--was entirely different.   Overcast skies and no wind.   We arrived in Seward mid-morning and searched for birds.

Along the beach, we spotted a harbor seal with a large fish.   That's a fin sticking up over its eye.

We had been scouring Seward for sparrows--any sparrows, and kind--and had found none.   Just before we were to check into the office for our cruise, this little song sparrow popped up on some rocks in front of us, and posed nicely in its favorite spots.

 And off it went to do sparrow things.

But,, a little farther down the beach:

Another song sparrow, perched on the tallest boulder around, singing to us.

 A couple more shots, and we were off to find whales.

Not too many days can you do this on Resurrection Bay.


  1. For not being able to find very many birds to begin with, you and your friend obviously got luckier. This is quite a collage. Did you see any whales??? Hope to see you soon ... really enjoying Kingman, AZ right now. Hugs. Patti and Cap

  2. Too too funny some of the courting behaviors. Last night we had the heat on in our motel room here. It is cold here. Why it must be down in the low 60s. Not too happy to read of the cold ( quote .. a nasty wind chilled us when we were out in it too long .. end quote) up there. Oh well. Layer up I guess. IF I would've had long underwear last night I would have put it on. Our room heat was turned up to 77 Degrees. Toughing it out here in the Northern part of Aridzona at 3,333 feet. Cap and Patti.


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