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

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Springtime that Feels Like Summer

I have been off birding around the area, first north of Anchorage, then south to Seward.   A few migrating birds have been showing up in their usual haunts, but most of the birds I've seen are year-round residents.

Last Sunday, on a chilly morning, a friend and I set up shop on someone's front deck, all in search of an elusive golden-crowned kinglet.   They are one of the hardest birds to photograph because they rarely hold still long enough for the shutter to do its work.

After a couple hours, we got a two-second glimpse of the little guy in deep shade.   But we got him!

First, though, we were visited by a red-breasted nuthatch....

...and a darling male redpole.

And then the kinglet.

 Siniging up a storm and looking right at me!

Our last visitor was a Downy woodpecker.

After that, we were off to Hatcher Pass where it seemed everyone was out playing in the warm sun.  We saw snowmachiners, skiers, and sledders.

This sledder lost his orange sled after going down the steep starting slope.

We were about to give ujp on seeing ptarmigan, Alaska's state bird, and then I spotted one.   Eventually, we found three that were close enough to photograph.

The red eyebrow identifies this as a male.  Look at the size of those feathered feet.   The feathers act as snowshoes and help the birds stay on top of the snow cover, as well as keep their feet warm.

This one is reaching for a willow bud.

It has a bud in its bill.

Down in the valley again, a great horned owl sits on its nest.

Next adventure:   The bears are out and it isn't April Fools!


  1. Your photography DOES take patience, but it's worth the wait. More great photos. Went to the Lake Baikal area this weekend and at a Buddhist site, we had some small birds eating out of our hand. Humbling. Smiles and hugs from Siberia! Patti and Cap

  2. Some amazing photos. Those of the ptarmigan especially were of interest to me, the male with the red eyebrows, the one immediately above the great horned owl. Amazing how your have the lens to bring them right to you. I suppose the golden-crowned kinglet immediately flew away after your photos were taken. Looking straight at you. Smiles from us .. Cap and Patti