Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bird Watching.

Bird, Birds, Ibis, Flight, Ala, Stork  The birds are back in town!  In the fall, they head south to escape the coming cold and ice but once things warm up, the birds return.  At first, only a few fly in but later, we are surrounded by birds.

Sunday, I took a walk out by the sort of frozen rriver and followed it around to the tundra, where I continued on to the old airport.  As I wandered across the tundra, I startled a couple of birds hidden in a cluster of bushes.

The beautiful white birds had been hidden by the snow so I didn't notice them until they launched themselves into the air.  I have no idea what type of bird but it was beautiful.  I love hearing their calls on the wind.

Its interesting where some of these birds travel to when they leave Alaska.  Snow geese spend all summer in the arctic but once temps start dropping they head off to the southern United States.  The American Golden Plover flies from the Arctic all the way down to the southern tip of South America! Imagine flying around 30,000 miles south and then 30,000 miles back every year.  Such a long trip.

The most frequent birds seen around town are various geese, swans, ducks,  and ptarmigans. Most of them are still white or light so they blend in with the small bits of snow.  The name originated in Scotland and comes from the word Tarmarchan.

There is a joke around here concerning ptarmigans.  There is a town named Chicken located about 200 miles east of Fairbanks, near the Canadian Boarder.  It is said they wanted to name their town after the ptarmigan but couldn't spell it so they settled on Chicken.  It started as a gold rush town and is one of the few original towns left. 

The town only has 7 or 10 residents but they do have a general store, cafe, liquor store and a saloon but there is no electricity, no running water, no internet, no mayor.  It does have a public toilet, well outhouse labeled "Chicken Poop".

I've never been there because the gravel road is only passable during the summer and its quite remote.  For its size it does host a nice music festival I'm told.

Yes, I digress, its the time of year when I love going outside to enjoy the fresh air, listen to birds, and just get away.  No matter where I walk, I see or hear birds.  Have a good day.

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