Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, June 11, 2010

Joyce Finds a Hawk-Owl

John and I started the day by driving the first 20 miles of the Denali Highway and back again looking primarily for Spruce Grouse which we didn’t find. We ate our breakfasts in our rooms including coffee from the coffee maker. We packed the car and set off down the Denali Highway for good. It was a beautiful drive with lots of small ponds with waterfowl including Barrow’s Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, Common Merganser, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Long-tailed Duck, Mallard, and White-winged Scoter. Warblers included Wilson’s, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Myrtle, Northern Waterthrush, and a cluster of Arctic Warblers that came in aggressively after a brief playing of their song (photo). Before we left the Denali Highway we had lunch at Maclaren Lodge where a young lady from West Virginia took care of our lunch order. At Paxson we headed south on the Richardson Highway toward Glenallen. We continued to search the tops of spruce trees for the elusive Northern Hark- Owl with no success. With similar lack of luck we scanned the airport at Glenallen for Upland Sandpipers. But we did find a small group of Bohemian Waxwings, new for the year. More good news when we stopped by the Tolsona Wilderness Campground and saw a Great Gray Owl on a nest with a growing chick (photo). From there we drove to Lake Louise (no not that Lake Louise) where our night’s lodging was located. Along the entrance road Joyce spotted a bird fly into the top of a spruce and….yes….it was a Northern Hawk-Owl (photo). I’m so proud of Joyce for finding this bird which was beginning to drive us a little nuts with the extended spruce watch. This was my first breeding season hawk-owl, all of the others being winter stake-outs in northern tier states. We checked into the lodge at the lake and went to dinner at a table with a fine lake view. We again split orders and had a nice meal. From time to time we were nuzzled by Sophie, the amiable mixed breed dog of the owners. The mosquitoes kept us from sitting on the porch and watching the boats on the lake. However, the three new birds for the year brought us joy and our total to 623 .
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