Temp in the 50s, mostly cloudy, a little drizzle in the AM, Winds N 15-20 mph
With the improving weather, we headed up to Clam Lagoon to get the morning low tide.
We didn’t see anything new on the open flats, so went to the Peninsula. I walked out and around the second bend, spotted a medium-sized shorebird. I was unable to identify it and started taking photos. It kept moving out towards the end of the spit, where it was joined by a Western Sandpiper.
Both birds allowed close approach and I was able to get definitive photos of both. However, when I got back to the truck and compared the larger bird to the field guides, we were stumped. It didn’t quite match anything we could find.
Well,when we returned to the house later and sent photos to John Puschock and Isaac Helmericks (our go-to guys), they quickly responded that it was a juvenile Red Knot.
Somehow, we had gotten it into our brains that Red Knots had shorter bills than this, so we discounted it out-of-hand when paging through the field guide! It has been awhile since we have seen a knot.
So, no lifer, but at least a new Adak bird for us. This may be only the 5th or 6th record for Adak.
After seeing the knot, I walked the marsh edge and found two Pectoral and one Sharp-tailed sandpipers.
We continued around the lagoon to the Seawall, where we saw more shearwaters, but not nearly as many or as close as the previous two days.
When we got back around to the west side, I walked out the peninsula again and found the Red Knot and stint, but they flew off. As they flew away, they were joined by five other small shorebirds. I decided to just wait awhile and, sure enough, two of the peeps returned to the shoreline near me. They were Western Sandpipers.
At the Adak National Forest, we had a “live” Pacific Wren.
We were able to drive around Contractors Camp Marsh today, but did not find anything new. However, nearby we found our first Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch for the trip!
Next, we headed down to Finger Bay. The road along the creek that was flooded yesterday was now relatively clear, although several salmon were stranded in the larger puddles in the road. We didn’t see anything new there, but on the way back, we had a Peregrine Falcon near Sweeper Cove.
Our trip list is now at a more respectable 36.