Added a few trip birds today, but no lifers.
The number of godwits has increased to eight, which means some new birds arrived. As I was walking the Clam Lagoon marsh edge, a flock of seven godwits flew in and landed no more than thirty yards from me and proceeded to feed and get even closer as if I didn’t even exist. I was not hiding. There is no place to hide on a mud flat!
We refound the Snow and White-fronted geese and the loner White-fronted had joined them, so now it was two and two. As we were driving up towards Contractor’s Marsh, Barb heard a Common Greenshank. However, we never saw the bird. Later, on another approach to the marsh, we saw a flock of Aleutian Terns headed for the marsh with three shorebirds tagging along. Barb dropped me off so I could walk through the marsh to look for the shorebirds while she drove around the roads that criss-cross the marsh. Just as I got out of the car, a large flock of Aleutian Terns started flying overhead. Although lighting conditions were terrible, I did get a few decent photos.
I walked back and forth through the marsh and as I approached the large pond at the western edge, three shorebirds plopped in right in front of me! Unfortunately, they were just Red-necked Phalaropes, instead of something new (or rare). Phalaropes are one of the few bird species in which the female is the more brightly plumaged and the male does most of the nesting duties. Here are a few photos.
We continued up to Clam Lagoon, where the otters continue to delight.
On the east side of the lagoon at the seawall, I was able to pick out a Laysan Albatross and Short-tailed Shearwater way out on the horizon. These were new for the trip, as was the aforementioned Greenshank.
On our way back up the east side of the lagoon, we spotted the geese and called Isaac, as he only got a fleeting look at them as the flew off the other day. I decided to walk the Clam Lagoon edge to look for hiding shorebirds. As I walked out onto the flats, a flock of Arctic Terns decided I was worth investigating and hovered overhead while screaming at me.
The Brant was feeding on the flats, so I got some closer photos of it, standing and in flight.
No, I didn’t scare it off. It just flew 20 yards or so. I flushed a small shorebird from the edge of the marsh. It was a peep or a stint, but it circled up high and flew off to the south. Frustrating!
After dinner, I went down to the Hawfinch feeder to see if I could get a photo of both Hawfinches together. Earlier in the day, we saw both of them, but the one was chasing the other so much, I couldn’t get a photo. While waiting for the Hawfinches to show themselves, I got some neat photos of the Gray-crowned Rosy Finches (the “House Sparrow” of Adak).
Only one Hawfinch showed up while I was waiting, but posed nicely for me.
And, last but not least, this bird knows his place…
Our trip list is up to 60, about average for a spring trip. One-and-a-half days to go. Hoping for a late surprise.