Saturday, June 1, 2024

Temps in the 40s, Partly Sunny, Occasional light sprinkle, Wind W 5-15 mph

Weather, June 1, 2024

Final day

No new birds today.

The Emperor Goose, a Brambling, and a Hawfinch were still present.

It was a great trip!

One lifer — Long-toed Stint.

75 species — fourth best spring record.

Three Asian passerines — Hawfinch, Brambling, Taiga Flycatcher

Two Asian ducks — Tufted Duck, Garganey

Eight Asian shorebirds — Siberian Sand-Plover, Whimbrel (Siberian race), Far Eastern Curlew, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Long-toed Stint, Red-necked Stint

Two uncommon Gulls — Black-headed, Herring


I saw only three Common Murres — low for May

The Common Ravens were very scarce

No Asian passerines visited the feeders except for a brief appearance by a Hawfinch the first day and then two others at the end of the trip. Usually, Brambling(s) and Hawfinch(es) will find a feeder early on and feed at it for the duration.

Only one American Green-winged Teal.

Only 5 Northern Pintails. I have had as many as 50 in the spring. And they normally breed here.

No Horned Grebes.

Thew Aleutian Terns were most uncooperative. Giving no :close up and personal” views until the end of the trip.

I missed the following species which were seen by other birders. Ruddy Turnstone, Wandering Tattler, Peregrine Falcon, and Short-eared Owl


Long-toed Stint — My last stint!

Siberian Sand-Plover — Only my second Spring record.

Far Eastern Curlew — Only my fourth record and there were two and one stayed for 6 days!

Common Sandpiper — Only my fourth

Wood Sandpiper — Courting!

I will return on Sept 21, 2024

Friday, May 31, 2024

Temps in the 40s, mostly cloudy, wind SW 10-20 mph

Weather, May 31, 2024

No new birds today.

The Emperor Goose and Far Eastern Curlew continue.

As do the courting Wood Sandpipers (and a few others).

I had two Tufted Ducks today — one at the Airport Ponds and one at Haven Lake.

Tufted Duck (I could not figure out what he was wrestling with), Airport Ponds, May 31, 2024
Tufted Duck, Haven Lake, May 31, 2024

The Trip List stands at 75.

The Trip Report can be viewed at

This will be my last post until I get home. If I am awake enough, I will post the wrap-up on Sunday evening. But more likely, Monday morning.

After I posted the above, the Hawfinch revisited my feeder.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Temps in the 40s, overcast, steady drizzle after 11 am, Wind SSE 5-15 mph

Weather, May 30, 2024

I checked the local feeders, but did not see either Hawfinch.

At the Airport Ditch, I finally found an American Green-winged Teal for the trip.

American Green-winged Teal, Airport Ditch, May 30, 2024

There are usually one or two around each May, but this one took almost two weeks to find.

Also at the Airport Ditch, a pair of Wood Sandpipers were in courtship display — the male calling continuously and flying up and hovering above the female on the ground.

Wood Sandpiper in courtship flight, Airport Ditch, May 30, 2024

Courtship displays by Wood Sandpipers have been seen previously on Adak, but there have been no confirmations of nesting. Wood Sandpipers have been confirmed nesting on Attu and Amchitka and suspected on other western Aleutian Islands.

The Tufted Duck was on Haven Lake again this morning.

Tufted Duck, Haven Lake, May 30, 2024

The Far Eastern Curlew continues on the Clam Lagoon East Side Flats.

Two Pacific Golden-Plovers remain at the Marsh.

Pacific Golden-Plover, the Marsh, May 30, 2024

The Emperor Goose was on Goose Rocks again today.

Emperor Goose (with Common Eiders), Goose Rocks, May 30, 2024

When we arrived on Adak two weeks ago, I told Don not to worry about the terns flying by at a distance because we would soon enough see them up close and personal…

Well, that has not been the case. In past years, over the course of two weeks, we would encounter the following four scenarios:

  1. At the Airport Ponds, Aleutian Terns would be feeding on the ponds and then fly up the hill (frequently right over us).
  2. Aleutian Terns would perch on some of the various rock outcroppings along the west shore of Clam Lagoon, providing up close viewing.
  3. Both Aleutian and Arctic terns would sit on the East Side Mud Flats at Clam Lagoon (but not too far out) where they could be scoped easily to see the distinct facial patterns for identification.
  4. They would both be giving their distinctive calls

None of these scenarios happened the ten days that Don was here. And in fact there were several days when we did not include Aleutian Terns on our list for lack of identification opportunities.

Today scenario #3 took place.

Aleutian Terns, Clam Lagoon, May 30, 2024

And they were also photographable off of the Seawall.

Aleutian Tern, Seawall, May 30, 2024

When I arrived back at the house, went into the kitchen and looked out at the feeder, I was greeted with the following!

Hawfinch, Adak, May 30, 2024

This was my first Hawfinch at my feeder.

The Trip List is now 75 (I count the two teal as separate species — like the Brits).

The Trip Report can be viewed at

One-and-a-half days to go…

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Temps in the 40s, partly sunny, winds NE 5-15 mph

Weather, May 29, 2024

We went from doldrums to surprises…

I was on my own today, as Don was preparing to leave and wanted to do some more scenery photography.

I decided I would check Sweeper Channel and the Airport Ditch and then head up to Clam Lagoon.

At the north end of the Airport Ditch, a Whimbrel flew out. I couldn’t get a photo, but as the morning went on, two other birders heard it calling nearby (although they did not see it).

This has been a good year for loons (although I still haven’t found a Yellow-billed) and these three Commons were in Clam Lagoon.

Common Loons, Clam Lagoon, May 29, 2024

At the Seawall, I found a Long-tailed Duck (different plumaged than last week’s bird).

Then, as I was just getting to the East Side Flats, a lone goose flew by. Any lone goose on Adak is suspect and, sure enough, it turned out to be a Brant. This was my fourth record of Brant on Adak.

Brant, Clam Lagoon, May 29, 2024

I returned to town to see off the departing birders.

I had been told by a local that a nest of Bald Eagles down on Sweeper cove had eaglets in it. I had looked at the nest yesterday, but it appeared the eagle was on eggs. No feeding activity and no nestlings apparent.

So I tried again today and there they were. It looks like the parent was sheltering the eaglets from the bad weather yesterday.

Bald Eagle with young, Sweeper Cove, May 29. 2024

Everyone was leaving today except Jason and Manuel.

I bid farewell (collected loaned radios and surplus bird seed) and returned to the search for lifers…

I then went back up to the lagoon and walked both the peninsula and the marsh edge.

I did not find a single shorebird…

As the tide was going out, I decided to continue around to the East Side flats and see if the Far Eastern Curlew was there. I had not seen it this morning during high tide.

As I was driving by the East Side Ponds, another Whimbrel was on the road. After a few futile attempts, I finally got some pics, including a fuzzy one showing it to be the Siberian race (white up the back).

Siberian Whimbrel, East Side Ponds, May 29, 2024
Siberian Whimbrel, East Side Ponds, May 29, 2024
Siberian Whimbrel, East Side Ponds, May 29, 2024

When I got to the East Side Flats, the Far Eastern Curlew had returned.

Far Eastern Curlew, East Side Ponds, May 29, 2024

An unprecedented 6th day!

On the way back around the lagoon, as I approached the barracks building near the “Blue Building,” it looked like they had a row of lights on the roof.

It turned out to be just the sun reflecting off the conical chimney caps.

The trip list is an amazing 74. This is my 4th best spring trip total. (81, 80, 76).

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Temp in the 40s, mostly cloudy, sunnier in the PM, occasional light sprinkle, wind NW 10-20 mph

Weather, May 28, 2024

The off and on sprinkles produced another rainbow for us.

Rainbow, May 28, 2024

I usually get to a point in these trips where the weather (ie. winds) turns against us and we get into the doldrums. This is it.

No new birds today (trip or life).

The Far Eastern Curlew was still present for an unprecedented fifth day.

I verified that Ravens still exist on the island (we were beginning to worry!).

Common Raven, Adak, May 28, 2024

The decline in the number of residents on the island has resulted in fewer scavenging opportunities for the birds, so they aren’t hanging around town as much.

There are several Bald Eagle nests easily seen as we drive around and it appears they are still sitting on eggs. At home in Pennsylvania, the young are about to fledge.

We had one of the Hawfinches at the Seal Drive feeder this morning, but later on the feeder was mobbed by the aforementioned ravens…

One of the Hawfinches has started visiting the Kuluk feeder as well, which is only 1400 feet. away — as the Hawfinch flies…

This has been a good year for Pacific Loons, with many hanging off the Seawall and in Clam Lagoon.

Pacific Loon, Clam Lagoon, May 28, 2024

Don (and most of the other birders) leave tomorrow, but there will still be a couple in addition to me.

The Trip List remains at 71.

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Monday, May 27, 2024

Temps in the 40s, overcast, occasional very light sprinkle, Wind NW 10-20 mph

Weather, May 27, 2024

The Far Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank and Common Sandpiper were all seen today.

At Haven Lake this morning, we found a Tufted Duck which actually stayed while we viewed it!

We saw one Red-necked Stint still lingering at the Airport Creek Bridge.

We still had three Wood Sandpipers.

The waters of the northern part of Clam Lagoon have been calm enough the past two days to permit easy spotting of Murrelets. Both Marbled and Kittlitz’s were calling today.

Also at the north end of the lagoon were two Red-throated Loons (trip bird).

The Seawall was overflowing with loons. We counted 16 Pacific and 2 Arctic. My all-time high for Pacific Loons was 25 in 2021.

Later in the day while scanning the Kuluk Bay Kelp Bed, 2 Short-tailed Shearwaters flew by just past the Kelp Bed! I usually see hundreds or thousands, not 2…

And finally, in town, we saw three Common Ravens.

I posted the above 2 hours ago.

About 25 minutes ago, we got a call that a Hawfinch was at the Seal Drive feeder.

We highballed it over there and not one, but TWO, Hawfinches were there (a male and a female)!

We assume these were new birds, as the single seen a week-and-a-half ago was extremely skittish and hasn’t been seen since.

Hawfinches, Seal Drive Feeder, May 27, 2024

The Trip List is 71.

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Temp in the 40s, overcast, almost steady rain, Wind SE 5-10 mph

Weather, May 26, 2024

Bad weather, good birds…

Still nothing new at the feeders.

The newly-arriving birders last night reported two different Garganeys! One at Contractor’s Marsh and one at the East Side Ponds.

We drove around the marsh this morning while two sets of birders walked it, but no Garganey was found.

However, we flushed the Least Sandpiper as we were driving through (trip bird).

This Semipalmated Plover poised nicely for a photo.

Semipalmated Plover, Contractor’s Marsh, May 26, 2024

At the Airport Creek Bridge, we found one of the Red-necked Stints still present.

We got up to Clam Lagoon.

Just up from the peninsula, a Mallard was shepherding her brood.

Mallards, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024

The Emperor Goose was back on Cormorant Rocks after being absent for a day.

When we got down to Candlestick Bridge, Don got out to walk the beach where the Greenshank had last been reported, but no sooner than he started towards the bridge when the Greenshank called from nearby and flew a short distance up the lagoon!

At the same time, Manuel and Jason pulled in behind us and said the curlew was out on the flats and they also had just seen the Dunlin (which I had been pursuing for two days!).

We viewed the greenshank and curlew and then drove back up the lagoon looking for the elusive Dunlin.

Far Eastern Curlew, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024

This is the longest in my experience that a Far Eastern Curlew has stayed. I previously had one stay for two days.

We drove up the lagoon looking for the Dunlin. I was about to go back and walk up the edge of the flats, when I spotted an odd shape that turned out to be the Dunlin on a rock — disguising its shorebird shape!

Dunlin, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024

We headed back to town, had lunch and then checked feeders and wandered about (it was still raining), when we got a call that there was a Common Sandpiper at Clam Lagoon.

By the time we got there, the other birders had moved on, but we managed to find the bird anyway. But it was very skittish and I could not get any photos.

While we were there, we got another call that there was a Wandering Tattler at the East Side Ponds, so we headed over there.

We arrived to find the other birders looking for (not at!) the tattler. It had flown off.

So we dipped on that one, but on the way back, at the northernmost East Side Pond, the Garganey took off (showing its distinct wing pattern), but it flew away too quickly for me to get a photo.

Once we got back to the other side of the lagoon where we had last seen the Common Sandpiper, we decided to try for it again.

Ivan had just arrived there and had seen it fly, so we joined him to look for it.


Common Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024
Common Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024
Common Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024

While we were standing there, Ivan pointed out a Herring Gull (rare on Adak) standing on a rock nearby.

Herring Gull, Clam Lagoon, May 26, 2024

What a way to cap off the day!

My Trip List is 70.

Don asked me if I ever had passed the average trip list only halfway through the trip. I checked my previous posts and NO, I hadn’t. So this is a very exceptional trip.

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Temps in the 40s, mostly cloudy, Wind E 5-10 mph

Weather, May 25, 2024

Every trip to Adak is different.

This year, the lack of species at the feeders is noticeable.

The only species being seen on the feeders are Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. Not even a Song Sparrow or Longspur (except for two days at the beginning of the trip when a VERY WARY Hawfinch visited the Seal drive feeder).

The other notable thing is it took us a week to see our first Common Raven. I’ve gone a day or two before, but not a whole week.

One of the Far Eastern Curlews was at Clam Lagoon for most of the day to the delight of arriving birders. And the Common Greenshank was on Candlestick Bridge beach. Also, the Emperor Goose re-appeared on Cormorant Rocks.

Most notable was we found two Red-necked Stints at the Airport Creek Bridge this morning.

We found another Brambling out at Lake Andrew (that makes 4).

Here is the mandatary annual eagle head shot…

Bald Eagle, Adak, May 25, 2024

We finally added both puffins and Wilson’s Snipe to our trip list (and Raven).

Four birders left today and five arrived.

The trip list is 65 (two above average).

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Friday, May 24, 2024

Temp in the 40s, mostly cloudy, a few sprinkles in the morning, mostly sunny in the PM,, winds WSW 5-15 mph

The birds just keep coming…

After having an issue with my car, we drove a pickup truck most of the morning.

I decided to take Don up to White Alice (the mountain top where the cell phone towers are) so he could see the view.

By the way, this is both a birding trip and a trip down memory lane for Don as he lived on Adak when he was 6 to 7 years old!

No sooner had we exited the truck up on White Alice than I received a call from Michelle that the Siberian Sand Plover was being seen again in Contractor’s Marsh!

We raced down the hill and arrived at the marsh where Michelle’s group and Sam had the bird tied down for me…

This was my second Spring record of this species and a lifer for Don.

Siberian Sand-Plover, Contractor’s Marsh, May 24, 2024.

We went back to the house to switch vehicles again and when we stopped at the Airport Creek outflow, we found a flock of Rock Sandpipers accompanied by a Red-necked Stint.

Red-necked Stint, Airport Creek, May 24, 2024
Red-necked Stint, Airport Creek, May 24, 2024

We called the other groups that we could reach and, once some got there, we went on our way.

The Dunlin that I failed to get last night was reported in the same location today, so I was determined to get it for the trip list.

Again, no sooner had we arrived at the location (the East Side Flats of Clam Lagoon), than we got another call from Michelle that there were two (TWO!!!) Far Eastern Curlews on Navfac Beach!

So we “raced” around the lagoon and got down there.

The birds were still there.

Far Eastern Curlew. Navfac Beach, May 24, 2024
Far Eastern Curlew. Navfac Beach, May 24, 2024
Far Eastern Curlew. Navfac Beach, May 24, 2024
Far Eastern Curlew. Navfac Beach, May 24, 2024
Far Eastern Curlew. Navfac Beach, May 24, 2024

These were my 4th sighting on Adak (2005, 2016, 2017). Two were on the Clam Lagoon Flats and one was on Navfac Beach (like these two). All of my previous sightings were single birds and all were during the last week of May (24, 26, 27, 29) The 26-27 was the same bird.

This was one of Sam’s target species, so he was elated!

A Whimbrel has also been seen a few times, but we haven’t caught up to it yet.

Tomorrow is supposed to be practically windless, so good conditions for finding passerines.

One birder leaves tomorrow and three arrive.

The Trip List is 61.

The Trip Report can be viewed at

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Temps in the 40s, mostly cloudy, occasional light rain, Wind SW 20-50 mph

Weather, May 23, 2024

As you can see from abocve, the weather was not real conducive to birding today. Getting out of your vehicle was problematic at best…

Nothing new at the feeders.

At Contractor’s Marsh, we watched a flock of Aleutian Cackling Geese land on the north end of the airport.

Cackling Geese, Airport, May 23, 2024

Still running into Wood Sandpipers everywhere!

Found a Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Murre today for the trip list.

At Contractor’s Marsh, we found the Pacific Golden-Plovers again.

Pacific Golden-Plover, Contractor’s Marsh, May 23, 2024
Pacific Golden-Plover, Contractor’s Marsh, May 23, 2024

Another Brambling was found near the High School Spruces by Michelle’s group. We didn’t try for it.

After a long day of birding, I dropped Don off at the house and decided to try for a Dunlin that was reported on the East Flats at Clam Lagoon.

I didn’t get the Dunlin, but on the way back I flushed a Common Greenshank off the road (I was trying to get a photo of a Bufflehead at the time!).

Luckily, it just flew over to the nearby East Side Ponds, where I was able to get some photos.

Common Greenshank, East Side Ponds, May 23, 2024
Common Greenshank, East Side Ponds, May 23, 2024

A Short-eared Owl was also reported by Ann’s group up at Lake Shirley.

The Trip List is 58.

The Trip List can be seen at