A good day, but frustrating…
Temp in the 40s, overcast with a few rays of sunshine late in the day, Winds light, East
Two Pine Siskins continue to visit my feeder and there is another one over at the High School Spruces.
No Bramblings have been seen for two days.
On my usual morning route, I stopped at the Airport Ponds and there was the Tufted Duck! This is where he truly belongs. I should have named these ponds Tufted Duck Ponds, because I have seen more here than anywhere else!
I then decided to go up to where the other guys had the Wandering Tattler two days ago in hopes of adding it to my trip list. I planned to walk the northwest shoreline of Clam Lagoon. I got there and started walking. After about a third of a mile, I found it!
This is the first time that I have had both Tattler species on the same trip.
As I continued my way back down the lagoon, a Marbled Murrelet came closer than usual.
And here is the Annual Mandatory Eagle Head Shot!
The other guys went out on a boat trip today and had all of the auklets and a bunch of other stuff. I met them upon their return and told them about the Tufted Duck. Although not a lifer for any of them, it was an Alaska bird for them. So we went over and got it.
They then went home to lunch and I headed back up to Clam Lagoon (I had only done the west shore this morning).
When I got to the south shore, I spied the godwit flock in the same place as yesterday. I did a quick count and it was the same.
I continued around the lagoon, eventually to Candlestick Bridge, turned around and proceeded on the loop back.
I stopped a few hundred yards north of the bridge and scanned the flats. There, I saw a flock of seven godwits (which had not been there a few minutes before when I scanned it on the way to the bridge).
My first thought was “Where are your buddies?” I scanned for more, but could not find them.
More interesting is that two of these godwits were noticeable smaller than the others!
They were closer to the west shore and the lagoon channels made it impossible for me to get close from this side and the heat waves were too bad for a photo, so I chose to race around to the other side and approach them from there.
I got back around to the South Lookout in about ten minutes. Not bad without breaking an axle! The road around Clam Lagoon is not in very good shape…
When I scanned, the flock of 35 godwits was right where I saw them an hour earlier and the two Black-tailed were back in the southwest corner feeding where they originally had been found.
But no sign of the seven.
I decided to walk out the flats anyway, just in case they flew back in. No luck.
After spending some time there checking the previous flock (and recounting it), I decided to go back around to the east shore again in case the seven had flown down towards Candlestick Bridge and out of sight from where I was now.
I waited and waited and scanned and scanned, to no avail.
I am confident that they were probably two Hudsonian Godwits and five Bar-taileds, but I will never know for sure.
Just another “one that got away.” I’ve had a lot of those out here.
The Trip list is 66.
Today’s list can be seen at https://ebird.org/checklist/S111778274