Bird Walks with Susan Culliney

Safely exploring the outdoors with her dogs.

We recoginze that many people are unable to go outside right now due to shelter-in-place directives and the inability to access safe outdoor spaces. We hope you will enjoy these photos taken by Audubon Alaska's Susan Culliney (our policy director) from bird walks she took near Anchorage last week. She was able to maintain safe distances from others and explore areas near her home with her dogs, Kaimana and Riley. Be safe and stay healthy!   

AM Bird Walk

I usually walk to work each morning with my dog Kaimana. Ever since starting to work from home, we still get out for a morning walk but we circle back home and head up to my home office for the day. This morning I checked out the natural area near our condo. I was surprised to see a young Bald Eagle in a low branch over the stream. He or she stared at me for a minute then flew away across the frozen wetlands. A little ways down the trail a flock of ducks was congregated in one of the areas of the stream that were not frozen over. Kaimana displayed good birding etiquette and quietly watched the ducks. Dogs can be good birding companions, but remember to always keep them on a leash except in designated off-leash areas.

Bridge of Chester Creek. Photo: Susan Culliney
Wading ducks. Photo: Susan Culliney
Bird tracks in snow. Photo: Susan Culliney
Kaimana watching ducks. Photo: Susan Culliney
Bald Eagle perched on branch. Photo: Susan Culliney
Bald Eagle takes flight. Photo: Susan Culliney
More ducks. Photo: Susan Culliney
And even more ducks! Photo: Susan Culliney

PM Bird Walk

After working at home all day, don’t forget to get outside. I took my two dogs to check out an area in downtown Anchorage called “Eastchester” which is accessed from Spenard Road, just east of Westchester Lagoon. It’s one of my favorite places to see ducks in the spring and fall. Right now, in mid March, the waters are still frozen over, but before we know it our migratory birds will be returning to Alaska. On our way back home, we did spot a pair of Mallards nestled into the snow at the edge of the cold running stream. Perhaps they are already pairing up in anticipation of the nesting season?

Bridge on Chester Creek Trail. Photo: Susan Culliney
Resting ducks. Photo: Susan Culliney
Sign at Westchester lagoon. Photo: Susan Culliney
Kaimana watching ducks. Photo: Susan Culliney
Riley reading the march sign. Photo: Susan Culliney
Riley heading home. Photo: Susan Culliney