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.