Monday May 21, 2012

We checked the jetty twice today, but did not find any wagtails (or other dickey birds). After a quick check of Sweeper Cove and creek, we got the rest of our food shopping done and headed for Clam Lagoon.
We found two Sanderlings out on the mud flats, but that was it for shorebirds.
As usual, the sea otters delighted us, and this one was still nurturing an almost full-grown pup.

Sea Otter with pup, Clam Lagoon, May 21, 2012

We have seen a hundreds of Black Scoters so far and several dozen White-winged Scoters. This one stayed close enough for a portrait.

White-winged Scoter, Clam Lagoon, May 21, 2012

We have been seeing Semipalmated Plovers at their usual breeding areas. This one was at Clam Lagoon.

Semipalmated Plover, Clam Lagoon, May 21, 2012

Clam Lagoon was filled with waterfowl and alcids. Waterfowl included Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Mergansers, Mallards, Pintails, Common Teal, and others. Marbled and Kittlitz’s Murrelets were in abundance.

Along the Clam Lagoon seawall is the easiest place to see Red-faced Cormorants, but rarely close-in. This bird was somewhat closer than usual, permitting a photo that shows how it got its name.

Red-faced Cormorant, Clam Lagoon seawall, May 21, 2012

As we got to the east side of the Clam Lagoon mud flats, two Bar-tailed Godwits flew in. The previous tour groups had only seen one so far. The tour groups that left as we arrived also reported many Pacific Golden-Plovers. We finally found one today. You can see by the color on its back how it got its name.

Pacific Golden-Plover, Contractors Marsh, May 21, 2012

We had several Red-necked Grebes. This one (not quite yet in breeding plumage) cooperated nicely.

Red-necked Grebe, small boat harbor, May 21, 2012

Ancient Murrelets are abundant this time of year and occasionally come in close, as these two did.

Ancient Murrelets, Sweeper Cove, May 21, 2012

We are seeing many of the ubiquitous Rock Sandpiper, calling and displaying. This one stands on its namesake.

Rock Sandpiper, Sweeper Cove jetty, May 21, 2012

No new birds for us so far on this trip, but it is better to start with a whimper and finish with a bang, so we are hopeful for better days ahead. The wind started to change from the north to the west today and is supposed to be westerly the next few days. Hopefully (did you know that Websters now accepts this usage of this word?), this will blow in some Asian birds…