Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Much Wanted New Bird

A number of years ago Anchorage had a rare bird hotline that I called regularly. One day I called the number and learned about an unusual bird in Sitka Park in Anchorage. I rushed over to Sitka Park and searched the small park diligently. (The Common Goldeneye above is not that bird.) My desired bird was around for less than one day and I missed it
These goldeneyes were at Spenard Crossing last week.
Anyway I had a very frustrating weekend. I was busy on Saturday and did not check my e-mails until after 9:00 pm. The old telephone hotline has been replaced by AK Birding, (an e-mail notification service that I check daily).
I read that my target bird was back in town for the second time ever, at Cuddy Park this time, and I checked my e-mail too late to do anything about it.
On Sunday I had commited to spend Easter Sunday at my nephew's house in Wasilla. It was a wonderful day with great food but I was sure that I would miss seeing my bird again. (this Trumpeter Swan from last week was not it.) I had to wait until Monday to get out to Cuddy Park.
More Trumpeter Swans and Mallards.
These swans have just arrived in town in the vanguard of the Summer rush of migratory birds. They will move on soon.
Here is the new bird I was so afraid that I would miss. Know what it is? It is a goose that is normally restricted to the Aleutian Islands in Winter.  They nest mainly in The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Western Alaska. They nest on the tundra or among Tussock Grass. Anchorage is well out of their usual migration path and habitat.
 It is an Emperor Goose.
Thankfully it was very tame around humans and allowed close approach.
It was keeping company with Canada Geese which were slightly larger. I was happy to finally tick off such an elegant bird. It's a beauty.