We went by bus from Girdwood to Seward, and stopped along the way at a small lake. There were Greater Scaup, Tundra Swans, and Trumpeter Swans in the lake. Bank Swallows and Arctic Terns flew above the lake, and I saw some Pine Siskins in the nearby trees.
Trumpeter and Tundra Swans
We had a little time to explore in Seward before boarding a small ferry boat to Fox Island. We saw Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls, and a Bald Eagle was perched on one of the dock posts. From the dock, I saw Double-crested Cormorants and a Marbled Murrelet (life bird).
Soon after leaving the dock on the small ferry boat, we saw our first sea otters. Everyone rushed to that side of the boat, and I thought that it might tip over as the ferry listed to that side!
As we approached Fox Island, I saw my first Horned Puffin (life bird) and some Pigeon Guillemots.
Black-legged Kittiwake and Pigeon Guillemot
Fox Island is home to a small rocky beach and a few cabins. Day visitors go there via ferry to kayak. Other than one other couple and the resort staff, our group was the only overnight visitors. The island climbs steeply up from the small beach, and I did not even attempt a hike up from the beach. There is a small lake by the kayak shed and gift shop, and a dining hall next to the overnight cabins. The cabins were in clusters of four, with each cluster having only solar-powered batteries for electricity, and we were warned to not leave any of the three small lights per cabin turned on when unnecessary, else we might not have any power until the next day. The gift shop and dining hall did have electricity, and our cabin cluster was right next to the dining hall.
Fox Island (dining hall near bottom left)
Fox Island (our cabin cluster and dining hall)
Most of our group did some kayaking the first afternoon on Fox Island, but I did a little birding instead. There were quite a few Glaucous-winged Gulls, and an adult and three ducks in the small lake. I thought that the ducks were Common Goldeneyes, but the local birding experts told me thay were Barrow's Goldeneyes (another life bird for me). The yellow bill of females of this species as seen in my birding books turns dark in non-breeding plumage.
Juvenile Barrow's Goldeneye
Glaucous-winged Gull (must have had a hard day)
I also saw a sub-adult (Basic II) Bald Eagle and a juvenile Steller's Jay.
Click here to continue on the boat trip from Fox Island
Juvenile Steller's Jay