Thursday, May 24, 2012

On a Roll!

The Colville keeps producing! Light SE winds persuaded me to hit the field hard today, hoping for new arrivals, band re-sights, and maybe a good bird or two. As luck would have it, the first "good" bird I stumbled upon got me really excited; a Hermit Thrush! I couldn't turn it into a Rufous-tailed Robin, but Hermit Thrush is still exciting this far north, although they breed in the lower half of Alaska. With no trees, it was looking quite out of place.

Yesterday also brought a new camp bird in the form of a Northern Harrier. There have been quite a few Short-eared Owls hanging around, and it seemed somewhat surprising that we hadn't had a Harrier before, but their range just doesn't seem to get up here. It was far, so the pictures are horrendous.

A few of the Red-necked Phalaropes have come back. Hard to ever get sick of these birds.

Other new arrivals include all 3 Jaegers, Sabine's Gull, Long-billed Dowitcher, Black-bellied Plover, Savannah Sparrow, Long-tailed Duck and Red-throated Loon. Although the numbers aren't quite here yet, the birds are starting to come back.

Regarding weather: It has been cold, windy, mostly from the NE, and foggy for most of my time here. Temp has been a low of 21 and a high of 32, and that is without windchill. Today, we got snowed on. Believe it or not, a lot of the snow is melting, and some melt water is forming on the lakes. Soon, the river should break up and we should see arrivals of a lot more loons, eiders, ducks and who knows what else.

Stay tuned!

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