They keep coming…
Temp in the 40s, partly cloudy, wind East 10-15 mph.
We can’t have a trip to Adak without at least one alcid photo.
No sooner had we made a couple of standard stops this morning than we get “a call from Jim” telling us he has a Far Eastern Curlew on the Clam Lagoon East Side Flats! As usual, we are as far away as possible, but Barb presses the pedal and we arrive on the seen in 23 minutes. Sure enough, our second Far Eastern Curlew in as many years — and our third overall.
While Jim’s group went up to Lake Ronnie — and had a pair of Tufted Ducks — we were at Lake Shirley watching another male Tufted. We later found another pair on the Airport Ponds, making 5 still present.
The stint flock is now down to 45 Red-necked Stints and 3 Dunlin. Surprisingly, no other passing shorebirds — we assume there have been a few — joined in. Our experience out here shows that shorebird flocks attract other shorebirds. But, except for the Dunlins, no others were seen (and I took hundreds of photos of the flock each day and checked all of them carefully).
The lone Bar-tailed Goodwit remains.
We had nothing else unusual until after lunch when “a call from Jim” informed us they had a Tree Swallow at Contractors’ Camp Marsh! Although not an Asian vagrant, it is still a rarity on Adak — only a half-dozen records-or-so.
This time, we were only minutes away, but assumed the bird had simply been a fly-by.
Nope, it hung around, hunting over the main lake of the marsh. I waited and waited until finally it flew above the horizon and nearby where I could see it in the camera’s viewfinder and started snapping.
I’m still amazed that I was able to get those shots…
There are still 4 Hawfinches coming to the Thrush Feeder, but the number of Bramblings has declined.
Later in the afternoon, as we were descending the hill to Navfac Creek, we checked the gull flock on the beach and again, Barb saw a dark-backed gull. However, this time it stayed long enough for photos. It was an adult Slaty-backed Gull — our first adult of this species.
Our trip list is a whopping 79!
Two days to go.
PS: The make-up flight from Anchorage arrived today.