Saturday, June 4, 2022

Temp in the 40s, partly sunny, light NE wind

There were only 28 godwits here today. I only saw Bar-tailed.

After several days of little birdlife at the Seawall, today I found Pacific, Arctic, and Common loon!

But the best bird was a Crested Auklet. With the 60X scope, I could see the crest, orange bill, and dark gray belly, but it was a little too far for details with the camera. Although, you can see the crest.

Crested Auklet, Seawall, June 4, 2022

I have had immature Crested Auklets in the fall in Sweeper Cove, but this is the first one in breeding plumage that I have seen from shore.

This made the trip list 68, one more than average. Of course, each time I get more than average, I up the average!

You can see today’s list at

And the total Trip Report at

All of my flights left early, but I arrive without my checked luggage. This is the first time that has happened to my except for cancelled/re-booked flights.

The trip was a good one (it is only great when I get a lifer).

I I have never been on the island for two weeks without a single day of westerly winds! No W, no SW, no NW, no NNW, no SSW, etc.

Yet, we had some good birds in spite of the nice weather.

Semi-lifers included a female Black-tailed Godwit, black-backed variety of White Wagtail, and a spring Gray-tailed Tattler.

Birds of note included the Black-tailed Godwits, black-backed variety of White Wagtail, both Gray-tailed and Wandering tattler, up to 10 Bramblings, Pine Siskins, Crested Auklet, Tundra Swan, Barrow’s Goldeneye, all of the Short-eared Owl sightings, and Least Sandpiper.

And to top off the trip, another Short-eared Owl posed for my final photo of the trip.

Short-eared Owl, Clam Lagoon, June 4, 2022

I will be back on Adak September 17 to Oct 1, 2022.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Temp in the 40s, overcast til late afternoon, then partly sunny, rain til 9 am then again from noon to 5:30 pm, winds SE 5-10 mph

Try as I might, I couldn’t find one more bird to get me over my spring average of 67.

Maybe tomorrow.

Only 28 godwits today. All Bar-tailed.

A Brambling was at the Seal Drive feeder this evening.

Late Common Goldeneye and American Wigeon were the only waterfowl of interest.

This ptarmigan posed so nicely, I just had to include his pic.

Rock Ptarmigan, Adak, June 3, 2022

I fly out tomorrow at 3 PM and expect to get home late afternoon on Sunday.

My wrap-up trip post will be done Monday morning, eastern time.

Today’s list can be seen at

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Temp in the 40s. partly sunny in the AM, overcast in the PM, Wind light East

I designated this to be my “slow” day.

I would drive 5 mph instead of 15, and linger longer at each stop. Just to see if it made any difference.

No so much…


Being here only in May and September slants my impression of Adak’s birdlife.

When I arrived a week-and-a-half ago, I was excited (maybe that’s too strong a word) about there being 4 Pine Siskins here.

Well, I just learned from Lisa (the refuge manager here) that flocks of Pine Siskins have been wintering regularly on Adak for a number of years now! But they usually depart before birders start arriving in May.

So siskins on Adak aren’t rare, just the timing.

And there are both males and females here. At least one has set up territory over at the High School Spruces.

So we may be adding a new breeding bird to the island.

Two were still visiting my feeder today.

I found the Tufted Duck today, after missing it yesterday. Here is a nice comparison shot with a Greater Scaup. You can figure out which is which…

Tufted Duck and Greater Scaup, Airport Ponds, June 2, 2022

The godwits are all still here. They were on Clam Lagoon this morning and Palisades Beach in the afternoon.

There is a pond just across the road from the West Lookout at Clam Lagoon.

This morning, there was one of the Common Mergansers there.

Common Merganser, near Clam Lagoon, June 2, 2022

When I came by this afternoon, a female Greater Scaup unexpectedly allowed me to get its photo.

Greater Scaup, near Clam Lagoon, June 2, 2022

Most of the waterfowl up here fly when you get within 100 yards. They are so pursued by hunters all winter that they are REALLY jumpy!

Also, pretty much all of the scaup are paired up now. So this lone female out on the Clam Lagoon flats caught my eye at first. It then flew over to this pond where I got the photo.

Three Buffleheads on Shotgun Lake are a bit late.

The Mount Sitkin volcano (30 miles east of Adak) has been active the past couple of years. It is now building a new lava dome (the black area), as can be seen in these comparison photos.

Mount Sitkin, May 22, 2016
Mount Sitkin, June 2, 2022

The trip list is stuck on 67.

Today’s total list can be seen at

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Now this is more like Adak weather…

Temp in the 40s, rain all day, Wind ESE 15-30 mph

It poured all night, and kept raining today. There were very brief moments of respite, with emphasis on brief!

I didn’t take a single photo today.

There were 34 Bar-tailed Godwits and two Black-tailed still here

At least two Pine Siskins remain.

The only bird I added for the trip was a Gyrfalcon up at Clam Lagoon.

Here is a nice tern photo from a few days ago.

Aleutian Tern, Clam Lagoon, May 25, 2022

The gang of five left today, so I will be the lone birder on the island for the remainder of my trip (I leave on Saturday).

They were very pleased with their trip. At least one of them got 30 lifers!

Five happy Godwit-watchers at Clam Lagoon (from left to right – Steve, Bo, Dave, David, & Tammy)

The trip list is now 67, which is average for my May trips. Two-and-a-half days to go.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The weather is a-changin…

Temp in the 40s, overcast, rain starting around 6 pm, Wind SE 10-20 mph

It is feeling more like Adak again. Rain and wind and cold.

Unfortunately, the wind is still going to be easterly for the rest of my stay here.

However, the worsening weather might still blow in some interesting birds.

The Tufted Duck is still on the Airport Ponds.

And the godwits are all still here.

I spoke too soon about the Bramblings having left, I found one this morning.

Brambling, near Seal Drive Feeder, May 31, 2022

And at least two siskins are still here.

There were two late Common Goldeneyes on Lake Shirley, and the other guys had a flock of Aleutian Cackling Geese fly over.

No other birds stood out as new.

Speaking of bird seed…

Some earlier group had brought bird seed out that had a lot of red millet in it. It is still on the feeders. Not even the rats or ravens will eat it!

If you are thinking about a trip to Adak, PLEASE don’t bring seed with Red millet in it!

The trip list remains at 66.

Today’s totals van be viewed at