Saturday, September 22, 2012

More variety today, but nothing new.

Dawn broke to a cloudless Mount Sitkin — a rare sight! Mount Sitkin is an active volcano thirty miles east of Adak. A mostly cloudy day with practically no wind until mid-afternoon.

Adak Sunrise (Mount Sitkin on left), 09/22/12

Sweeper Cove was a sheet of glass with no birds (well, very few…).

I walked part of Contractor’s Marsh, but the only shorebird was kicked up by Barb — a Pectoral Sandpiper.

There are a series of narrow long ponds (glorified ditches, really) that parallel the road that goes up the west side of Clam Lagoon. They are invisible to anyone on the road and provide neat hiding places for the flocks of Common Teal (the Eurasian form of our Green-winged Teal). At least once each trip up here, I walk over to these ditches and the teal explode out of them as I snap as many photos as possible in hope of catching something exotic mixed in with them. I did that this morning.

Common Teal, Clam Lagoon, 09/22/12

Nothing unusual, but some neat photos.

Out on the peninsula, one stint and three Westerns remained. A flock of Ruddy Turnstones flew by as we continued around Clam Lagoon.

After several days with no loons or grebes, today we had 5 Horned Grebes, one Red-necked Grebe, two Pacific Loons, two Common Loons, and four White-winged Scoters — all along the seawall. Towards the north end of the seawall, there are a few openings (breaches) where winter storms have crashed through. They make for easy access to the stone and boulder-strewn beach, which I try to check every day. Today there was a nice flock of Sanderlings which were resting and preening contentedly until a Peregrine came cruising by. They departed quickly!

Sanderlings, Clam Lagoon Seawall, 09/22/12

The only other highlight today was a Peregrine chasing a Gyrfalcon over Contractor’s Marsh.

After taking the obligatory head shot of a Bald Eagle today, I decided to share a few more.

Bald Eagle, Clam Lagoon, 09/22/12

Sanderling, Clam Lagoon Seawall, 09/22/12

Rock Ptarmigan, Clam Lagoon, 09/22/12

Ruddy Turnstone, Clam Lagoon Seawall, 09/22/12

Red-faced Cormorant, Clam Lagoon Seawall, 09/22/12

Isn’t digital photography wonderful?