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Alaska 2004

Part 3:  Passing Through Anchorage

Next morning I took a shower and eventually met the gang in the lobby for the trip to the airport (unfortunately both Ray and Ruth started to come down with The Crud about then, also, and Sue was starting to fight it off as well). Got there fine, made a mad dash after a reported White-winged Tern (nuthin'), and arrived in Anchorage with news that our flight for the Priblofs was to leave at 4:30 a.m.!

We checked in and Marshall offered a short excursion to Westchester Lagoon; I should have passed (having to get up at 2:30) but the photo ops were great, with several new birds; Greater Scaup were at our feet (acting like the Lessers at Mission Bay), and Red-necked Grebes nested right in the middle of this urban lake! One island was filled with shorebirds, including Hudsonian Godwits, Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitchers, and a lone Rock Sandpiper, and we added Bonie and the nominate Herring Gull to the list. The best sighting, however, was a pair of Blue-winged Teal, a very rare bird for Alaska (a state one for Marshall)!


Westchester Park, and Lake with Greater Scaup


Red-necked Grebes nest on the open water, while a neck-banded Canada Goose poses with a snoozing Blue-winged Teal; the latter is quite rare in Anchorage!


Black-billed Magpie (left) and Greater Scaup (female with white face)


Hudsonian Godwits (left and center).  The place is a popular urban park, as well as being a great place to bird!


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