June 11, 2012

Happy Mon. Nice day here after extremely mixed weather over the weekend. We got clouds and blinding rain showers followed by sun, then more clouds and wind. Something is going on.

We spent two nights at Tangle Lakes over the weekend, enjoying the spectacular scenery and looking for birds. There were lots of birds, especially warblers and sparrows, arctic terns,  and gray-cheeked thrushes. Like last year, not so many ducks, i.e., just scattered pairs. Didn’t see one mallard, though we did see a long-tailed duck, two kinds of merganser (red-breasted and common), and several loons (red-throated and common). Also long-tailed jaegers, whimbrels, and trumpeter swans. We were a bit early for late-arriving species like the arctic warbler, an Asian bird that Outside birders come to Alaska to see (along with wheatears and blue-throats). Anyway, we saw two lifers: Say’s Phoebe (a flycatcher), which appeared outside the restaurant window while we were eating breakfast, and a pair of Black scoters on a nearby lake.

We heard lots of birdsong — spring comes late to that climate — and did some extended tundra walking, if that’s what you call staggering from tussock to tussock. Also saw a fox, some caribou, a couple of moose, and some ground squirrels. Coming back from Paxson the light was gorgeous, and Rainbow Ridge north of Summit Lake was very beautiful. Nice state we live in.

Typical scenery near Tangle Lakes–


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