May 9: Morning at the Marsh

Observations by Michelle Michaud:

Another glorious morning at the marsh. There is always something new to see. In addition to the birds, we had two moose feeding in the marsh. One came down the slope near the viewing platform while the platform was occupied by birder Jim Herbert. That had to be a little unsettling!

And speaking of birds, we had a large flock of around 30 Pectoral Sandpipers and Dowitchers (Short and Long-billed). Two Lesser Yellowlegs followed near the end with a few peeps flying in and out on occasion.

Over the last several days I’ve seen the number of Green-winged Teal drop from a total of 29 on Thursday to 16 on Friday to 10 today. Waterfowl numbers in general are falling off.

Only two Tree Swallows were observed today, way down from the day before. I guess not enough insects out yet. The Lincoln’s Sparrow continued to serenade us from one of his favorite singing perches (tall spruce, with lots of cones, to the left of the viewing platform).

A Varied Thrush called out (to me an ear piercing sound reminiscent of fingers being dragged down a chalk board) and we could tell it was close. Birder Jim Herbert spotted it in a spruce tree adjacent to the platform. Unless you saw movement it was difficult to spot the bird even thought it was right above us.

Jim and Dale helping spot birds!

Two American Robins were chasing each other vying for territory or a female. We did see an uptick in the number of people stopping by to check out the birds. Over the two hour period of 6:30 – 8:30 am, a total of 14 people, including myself, were present. Luckily we weren’t all there at one time.

Dark-eyed Junco

A total of 31 species were observed during my “Morning at the Marsh”.

Tomorrow is another day and it will be interesting to see what birds show up at the marsh. Remember, it’s always a great day to bird.

Michelle Michaud is an avid birder who enjoys traveling the world in search of birds. In Homer, she participates in citizen science projects, including the Kachemak Bay Birder’s Shorebird Monitoring, Alaska Grebe and Loon Monitoring Project, and COASST.