I’m a birder, but I’m not a fanatic. I don’t really have a “life list,” although I’ll occasionally make a note in one of my bird books when I’ve seen a rare bird. So, you’ll probably see quite a few birds appearing here in my blog and in my ‘Flora and Fauna’ section. I live in a place where I am lucky enough to see incredible spring and fall migrations of birds that come to Alaska for summer breeding. I feel indescribable joy when I hear that first Sandhill Crane making that funny croak (we call it a ‘roark’) overhead in the spring and feel deep loss when I see those huge skeins of Canadian Geese heading south in the fall. I felt that sense of loss today as I heard loud honking, looked up, and saw hundreds of Canadians flying high above me. Winter is creeping in — a fact I can no longer deny when I see the snow starting to stick on the peaks of the Chugach Mountains.
I’m already dreaming of spring since a beautiful new addition to the Anchorage park system was opened last Friday — the Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area (CCENA). With three viewing decks above the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge (where I take my winter walks and take many of my photos), it’s a birder’s dream. I can’t wait to stand on those decks in the spring, listening for that first Sandhill ‘roarking’ over the Refuge.