Date: July 9, 2013
Tonight’s Location: Homer, AK
Temperature: start 51º
Wildlife count: Moose calf, Harbor Seals, Sea Otters
Year List: 258; Year List: 37-
Birds: Bald Eagle, Pine Grossbeak, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Common Raven, Northwestern Crow, Wilson’s Snipe, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Orange-crowned Warbler (with orange crown), Pacific Loon, Solitary Sandpiper, Tundra Swan, Varied Thrush, Alder Flycatcher, Bank Swallow, Savannah Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Glaucous Gull, Magpie
We had our normal Tuesday morning breakfast out – at Duncan’s Café and then headed out East End Road. Our first stop was at Circle Lake, and as we pulled in, we glimpsed a pair of Pine Grossbeaks – the male is bright red and the female yellow. We only saw them for a few seconds, but their color and size was unmistakable. As we waited, several more birds came out and showed their morning colors.
Donning our rubber boots at the next stop, we followed a game trail up to Eagle Lake, which sits atop a rise, leaking water down to several small ponds and fens or bogs. The trail was mucky as we trekked through the muskeg. However, the lake was truly the prize worth the work. This cobalt gem was ringed with bright yellow pond lily flowers and Alaskan Cotton, with patches of lilac-colored Wild Geranium. At the far end swam a pair of Tundra Swans, as well as a Pacific Loon family with their chick.
Mosquitoes busied themselves at the surface of the water, with Bank and Tree Swallows doing their best to eat them all – they missed some and we got buzzed, but with the proper amount of OFF, we were fine. We walked for awhile around the lake, but a Solitary Sandpiper was so alarmed that we might come near to her nest, that we just went back and sat on the log, drinking in the beauty. The photos try to tell the story, but they really don’t do it justice!
After a bite of lunch sitting outdoors, we washed the truck, not that it needed it! It was great to just bask in the sunshine, even down to t-shirt and pants rolled up. While we were sitting, we noticed that every peak across the bay had its own cloud sitting above the summit.
Dinner was grilled pork steak, sautéed zucchini/onion/sliced garlic/yellow pepper with Parmesan cheese, and garlic bread. What a treat. We rode out to the spit after dinner in place of our nightly walk – we are pooped.