I had to see for myself. The dog and I drove south from Anchorage enjoying the scenery along the way. Predictably most everything was iced up...the seeps and falls from the roadside cliffs, the smaller ponds, and even the Turnagain Arm was starting to gather some slush ice. No birds were in sight other than an immature swan whose parents were long gone. It was along one of the few open water areas just waiting for death's icy grip and the eagle that was circling close by. The dog convinced me that we should go for a walk anyways. I still held out hope that maybe the bigger ponds would still have some open water. Nope! Everything was coated with at least 3/8" of ice and absolutely no birds. It was too late to drive over to Whittier so we were done.
I enjoyed the rest of the walk with the dog remembering what a fine season we'd had. Great sunrises/sunsets, very little competition, a few moose in the marsh to keep things interesting, and over 70 birds, in combination with good friends and solo hunts, for the dog to practice what she'd been bred to do. On the way out I passd an empty Bud bottle. I picked it up and carried it back to the truck marvelling at how little trash I've come across. Thanks to all who respect and protect the resources we are so lucky to have.
Guess I'm done for the season. A bit relieved but a bit disapointed it's all over too. Thanks to all who post here. It's been a great time reading everybody else's stories. Hopefully there be some diehard late season stories from Homer or Kodiak or other sea ducking meccas. Only 311 days until it starts all over again.