Friday, September 21, 2012

Not much today.

The weather was similar to yesterday, but less windy.

We went up to White Alice again to try for Snow Bunting, but still no luck. We usually get Snow Buntings on our September trips, so this is a big miss. Maybe next week.

Sweeper Creek provided Rock Sandpipers and we saw some presumed Pectorals flying over Contractor’s Marsh.

As we got to Clam Lagoon, we sat in the truck until a shower passed. Once the rain stopped, two different-sized shorebirds flew out from the peninsula and away. The larger one was a Pectoral and I presume the smaller one was a Red-necked Stint, as when I got out to the peninsula, only one stint was still there with the four Westerns. No Sanderling or Pectoral.

Over at he seawall, we again scanned the river of shearwaters for albatross and finally picked one out. But it was too far out to tell which species.

We saw one Peregrine at the north end of Clam Lagoon and two more down at Contractor’s Marsh. There was an almost-white Harbor Seal sunning itself in Clam Lagoon.

Harbor Seal, Clam Lagoon, 09/21/12

When we got back down to Sweeper Cove, a pair of Common Murres was close to the jetty.

Common Murres, Sweeper Cove, 09/21/12

Yesterday, we had a young puffin early in the morning. The lighting was so poor, I had to digitally lighten it considerably to see any features. This made the breast look almost white, which I thought was just an after-effect, and I called it a Tufted Puffin. Well, this afternoon, the same (presumed) bird was just off the jetty in good light (but farther out). I took some more pictures and it is obvious that the breast is white, so it is a young Horned Puffin, not a Tufted. This photo is not enhanced, just enlarged.

Immature Horned Puffin, Sweeper Cove, 09/21/12

Our trip-list stands at 49. Our average September list is 55, so we are below average with a week to go. A lot of good birds have shown up in the last week of September on previous trips, so we are optimistic.