Archive for May 9th, 2011
WC headed down to Denali National Park Sunday, forsaking better birds for a chance at some charismatic megafauna while at least part of the road is open to private vehicles. It was pretty slow. There were far for private vehicles than critters on Sunday afternoon. And, oddly enough, birds captured most of the excitement.
Mammals? One Caribou, two Arctic Ground Squirrels, two Moose, one Snowshoe Hare and ten or so Dahl Sheep. Well below average.
Birds? an American Kestrel, half a dozen Northern Harriers, two Golden Eagles, dozens of American Tree Sparrows and a Hairy Woodpecker. And two genuine rarities: a flock of 5-6 Rusty Blackbirds and a Mountain Bluebird, a species listed as only hypothetical on the bird list for the Park. Oddly, there was only one Willow Ptarmigan, a female in transition plumage, at Savage River bridge. Which resulted in a fairly mediocre photo:
Usually, the species is everywhere. But it was a pretty nice day, with only a few scattered snow flurries. A surprising amount of the snow is already gone and the road is in excellent shape.
Still, WC has not made his annual trip to Denali N.P. Maybe again in the autumn for the tundra colors. But not until the crowds of visitors thin out.