Temp in the 40s, Overcast and raining until early afternoon, then mostly cloudy, Wind WSW 20-30 mph
Storm birds, but not what we expected…
It was raining and blowing since yesterday evening. A strong low pressure system was sitting just northwest of us sending strong winds and rain in our direction. The wind pattern showed strong winds leading directly from the Kamchatka Peninsula to here!
Come on birds!
It was too wet and windy to look for dicky birds, so we headed to the Sweeper Cove outflow to see what was happening with the gulls. There was the usual mixture, but we also saw a few Short-tailed Shearwaters out on the bay – but not very close.
As usual the gulls and kittiwakes were going at it.
We headed north, and at the Airport Creek Bridge, there were two Ruddy Turnstones and one Rock Sandpiper (we hadn’t seen a Rock since last Thursday).
At Clam Lagoon, ducks were out feeding – I guess they felt safe in this weather. There were Mallards, Common Teal, and Northern Pintails. At the Peninsula (seen from the truck!) The flock of Sanderling were skittering about.
The surf was too rough to see much at the Seawall.
As we headed back south, at the Airport Creek Bridge, there were two Rock Sandpipers and two Sanderlings!
We returned to the house for a break (and lunch), then headed back over to Sweeper Cove. The rain was pretty much over, so the conditions were much better – but the truck was still rocking from the wind.
As we pulled up, we saw the flock of gulls as before, but then noticed some darker birds. They were Short-tailed Shearwaters.
We then noticed others. They were Fulmars!
Then we noticed a small dark bird. It was a Leach’s Storm-Petrel!
This is how we like our pelagics – with our feet firmly planted on solid ground!
The petrel was an Adak bird for Barb. I had seen one in May 2010.
We then went around to all of the bushes and trees, looking for new passerines – no luck.
Then up to Clam Lagoon. The tide was in, so there were no flas for shorebirds, but the ducks were still out and were joined by the Cackling Goose flock.
On our way back to town, we had a Glaucous Gull at the Navfac beach. This is our first for a fall trip. We assume we were usually too early for them in September.
Back down at Sweeper Cove, all of the pelagics had left, but a flock of ten Cackling Geese landed nearby. I am always taken aback when I see geese out on the ocean (other than Brant).
The Trip List is now 58 (5 short of our best) and the Year List is 91 (3 short of our best).
PS: The plane did not arrive today due to weather.