Temp in the 40s, overcast over town, sunny up at Clam Lagoon, 10-25 mph west wind.
Our trip ended with a whimper. No new birds, so the trip list is 61. However, the Tufted Duck at Lake Shirley reappeared. Four new birders arrived today for a four-day visit, so the Tufted Duck’s re-emergence was great news and they rushed off to Lake Shirley. We expect a report from them after their trip and I will add an epilogue to this blog when I get it.
Northern Shovelers are uncommon on Adak. We have had them on 5 out of 7 May trips, but always only 2 to 4 birds. So it is unusual that a pair was still here today.
We would rate this a “very good” trip, not a great one.
We added two new birds to our Adak list — Lesser Scaup and Tundra Swan (three, if you count Bewick’s Swan as a full species). We saw two new whales — Sperm and Hump-backed. The number of Tufted Ducks — at least 8 — was rewarding.
We haven’t seen a breeding-plumage Ruff in many years, so the black-and-rufous Ruff was a treat.
Best of all were the two Bristle-thighed Curlews, up-close-and-personal! Our previous experience with this species was very unsatisfying. This one was great!
Although the number of waterfowl (swans, geese, ducks, loons, and grebes) was a new record for us, the other categories were down. No falcons, no non-native passerines (even North American strays!), no Asian shorebirds — except the Ruff.
Species seen by other birders while we were there, but missed by us, include Gyrfalcon, Short-eared Owl, Horned Grebe, Surf Scoter, and a possible Common Merganser/Goosander.
I will update our trip list in a few days and it will be available under the Birding Adak link at my website www.FranklinHaas.com. (as well as general birding info on Adak)
We will be headed back in September.