Autoimmune illness flares again but the great thing about a week spent birding is very little energy is required. We can sit in the woods and alongside marshes, just listening and watching, occasionally falling asleep until a ruffed grouse begins to drum or another bird peeps or screeches, waking us.
Rusty blackbirds and greater yellowlegs were loud in the marshes while the mallards, long-tailed ducks and shovelers quietly fed. Along the shores of Little Atlin Lake we found a boreal chickadee excavating a nest cavity in an old spruce snag and a pair of black-billed magpies were building a nest in a willow thicket. In the alpine, Wilson’s snipes winnowed and wandering tattlers ambled lakeshores.
At our campsite on Chotla Lake, a ruby-crowned kinglet sung all evening while three American kestrels hunted the snow-free hillsides.
A wonderful bonus to sitting quietly in wilderness looking for birds are all the wildlife we also spot. Moose, caribou, Dall sheep. The chipmunks and arctic ground squirrels, including skittish melanistic ones (they must know they are much more vulnerable than the ”normal” coloured relatives) were also out enjoying the spring weather after eight longs months of hibernation. Sunshine, birds, mountains and wildlife. We couldn’t have hoped for more.