Written July 31 2011.
Yesterday, July 30 I birded around Anchorage and had the most wonderful time. I managed 6 new year birds, plus 3 the day before making the Anchorage total 9, much better than hoped.
I started out at the beautiful Potter Marsh where I got 2 new year birds, Black-billed Magpie and Short-billed Dowitcher as well as many other beautiful birds including Sandhill Cranes, both yellowlegs, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and more.
Then we went to a place called Smoke Jumper Trail, a very boreal forest filled with northern trees. While walking I heard a chickadee, which I first regarded as one of the many Black-cappeds. But then it caught my attention. No! Not a Black-capped! It's a Boreal Chickadee! I walked to the sound and starting pishing. It came in and gave me the most beautiful look. One of my long wanted life birds had finally made a showing.
Then I went to a bog near where I'm staying and I got to spend time with a beautiful Moose.
Yesterday evening I went to a place called Arctic Valley and climbed to above tree line and got to hike there with magnificent views, true Alaska. On that outing I got 3 new year birds, Northwestern Crow along the way and Gray-cheeked Thrush and Rufous Hummingbird at mountaintop. The Rufous Hummingbird was attracted to the red of a chair lift of a small skiing area.
Today I head south starting my trek to Homer and am more focusing on mammals today stopping at a wildlife rehabilitation center, looking for Dall Sheep, and a hike for bears. Between now and when I get back to Anchorage next week I don't know if I'll be able to post much, but I will write and next week will post all at once if I can't post at Homer.