Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Light wind and partly sunny skies today!

We checked our “feeders” and found several Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches had found them, but nothing else, yet…

Other than the spots that we put out bird seed, the only other feeder in town is along Bayshore Drive, which we check every day. Unfortunately, it has a guardian.

Guarded bird feeder

Despite this, we often see Rosy-Finches and Song Sparrows here.

At Sweeper Cove, a nice flock of Guillemots swam nearby showing several plumages.

Pigeon Guillemots, Sweeper Cove, 09/18/12

Since it was a sunny day, we drove up to White Alice–a promontory west of town with the cell phone towers–to look for Snow Buntings. No luck, but a pretty view.

Shagak Bay and Kanaga Island from White Alice, 09/18/12

We headed up to Clam Lagoon and had a Common Loon close by, but backlit. We have had several Northern Pintails the past few days and these two were most cooperative.

Northern Pintails, Seal Rock Cove, 09/18/12

Out on the Clam Lagoon Peninsula, one Red-necked Stint and two Western Sandpipers were still present.

Red-necked Stint (left) and two Western Sandpipers, Clam Lagoon, 09/18/12

This is interesting because last year at this time I had one Red-necked Stint and two Western Sandpipers at the same spot!

Over at the seawall, we had three Sanderlings (and 30 more later in the day). As we were coming back around the northern end of Clam Lagoon, a pipit flew up from beside the road and flew out of sight. After circling around, we relocated the bird. Out on the Aleutians, three Asian pipits regularly show up — Olive-backed, Pechora, and Red-throated. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them. It was just an Amercan Pipit (and the American race to boot!).

American Pipit, Clam Lagoon, 09/18/12

However, it was only the third pipit we have seen out here, so it was still a nice bird. At least it got our adrenaline pumping…

Two notes about bird perches.

The most reliable spot on the island to find Pacific Wren is in a quarry just south of Sweeper Cove. There, several rusting pieces of equipment provided hiding spots and singing perches, especially a particular piece near an escarpment that had a U-shaped pipe on which the wren loved to perch and sing its little heart out. (See last May’s blog for pictures of just that!) Well sometime the past few months, someone removed that piece of equipment for scrap metal, so the wren’s perch is now gone.

Last Saturday, as we reported, we spotted a Eurasian Kestrel perched on the metal frame that used to hold the Adak National Forest sign. Well, good thing we saw the bird there on Saturday, because today someone removed the frame! We assume it was for scrap metal, but maybe someone is finally getting around to replacing the sign that had vanished several years ago (but we doubt it).

More tomorrow.