Sunday, September 16, 2012

After the excitement of yesterday, today was bound to be a letdown. And it was…

The day started out overcast and rainy and stayed like that most of the day. Just light rain and drizzle, but enough to be unpleasant to stand out in.

We all searched in vain for another sighting of the Eurasian Kestrel. We not only did not find the kestrel, but didn’t even see any of the other falcons (Gyrfalcon and Peregrine) that have been hanging around.

We added a few trip birds — Black Scoter, Northern Pintail, Marbled Murrelet — but nothing exciting. Thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters were streaming past the seawall. Usually, when this is happening, it only takes a short time to spot an albatross or two flying along with them. Today, we spent a good twenty minutes scanning the flock to no avail. That was how it was today!

Up where the Airport Creek empties into Kuluk Bay at the Landing Lights Beach, an eagle was dining on something at the stream edge which we could not identify. The salmon are running right now in some of the streams and it wasn’t one of them. I walked down to where the eagle was feeding, interupting its meal, and looked at the thing it was chewing on. It was a hard mass about 12″ by 6″ by 5″ with these stem-like growths coming out of it. I took a photo. Can anyone tell us what it is? Send me an email at

Mystery eagle food (no, those are not eyes, they are stubs of the same kind of stalks seen on the middle of this thing)

We had 26 Sanderlings on the flats at Clam Lagoon and three Ruddy Turnstones at Seal Rock Cove. Not much else of note.

We watched the plane from Anchorage land and then went to the airport to see John, Jack, and Colin off.

John Puschock, Jack Wykoff, Colin Campbell bid farewell at Adak airport

We will be the only birders on the island for the next 10 days!

In keeping with today’s weather…

Rainbow over Sweeper Cove

Hoping for new birds tomorrow.

PS. I posted a correction to our post from two days ago. After further research (and comments from more knowledgeable birders) we decided the mystery duck was an eclipse-plumaged Greater Scaup, not a Tufted Duck.