Today it was quite warm, especially by Sitka standards. The weather channel reported the temperature this afternoon to be 77 degrees. That does not sound too hot perhaps, but it seemed plenty warm to me. The warmth sort of made me feel lethargic and I decided not to go anywhere in particular. On the plus side, days like this should hasten the melting of the snow, though it will take a number of them to have a real effect probably. I can still see snow below the treeline on many of the hills and mountains around Sitka.

By this evening it had become overcast and the temperature had dropped so that it felt pleasant to me. I decided to go spend some time on the breakwater at Crescent Harbor. While I was making my way along the rocks I noticed a pair of birds swimming and feeding along the outlet stream from the SJ hatchery. I think they were the same ones I had seen a little over a week ago at the same place. I am not sure what kind they are, if I had to guess I would say some sort of eider, and I think that I will see if I can find a bird book at the library in which to look them up. One of them (the male, I assume) had very distinctive high contrast markings so it should be fairly easy to identify.

There was also a kingfisher hanging around for much of the time I was out there. It would sit on top of the pilings for a while and then fly down and plop into the water becoming complete submerged before it flew out again. I don't think I remember seeing a kingfisher fish before. It was interesting to watch. I would have liked to take a picture of it but it was too far away for the digital camera and iso 25 film is not the speed to use to try and take pictures of birds in gray overcast conditions.

Home | Summer 1999