Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A New Painting and a Good Bird

I had intended to do another post from Seward but recent sightings have put that on hold.
On Tuesday the sun was shining after a few weeks of rain. I decided to see if there were any shorebirds left at Westchester and along the Coastal Trail.
There were several Belted Kingfishers at Westchester.
A Magpie had to photobomb the kingfisher.
The ducks are not showing at their best this time of year.and most species have migrated out of here. There were these young Greater Scaup but their parents have left them behind.
There were still some American Wigeons around along with the ubiquitous Mallards and a few ducks too far away to identify..
The bird experts say that in Anchorage you seldom see pure Herring Gulls or Glaucous-winged Gulls. Most are hybrids. This bird was clearly a hybrid Herring/ Glaucous-winged Gull.
The adult Bonaparte's Gulls were gone but there were lots of juveniles present.
 On the Coastal Trail there was a local artist busy at work along Fish Creek.
Nice work.
Westchester still had a few Short-billed Dowitchers but this Greater Yellowlegs was at the Audubon Bench along the Coastal Trail.
There was also a post breeding, Spotted Sandpiper at the same place.
Then I noticed the 'good' bird. It was a non-breeding golden plover.
I have not seen one in at least 15 years.
At first I thought it was an American Golden Plover but when I sent the photos to the local expert birders, the consensus is Pacific Golden Plover. The main field mark for separating the two is the length of the primary feathers in relation to the tail.
American Golden Plovers have longer wings while the Pacific's wings barely project past the tail.
There are still local birders who think it is an American. I lean toward Pacific. Do any of you have an opinion on the subject?
Yesterday I finished this 11x14" painting of Trumpeter Swans at Potter Marsh.

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