Friday, May 17, 2013

Mid-40s, partly sunny, increasing NW winds.

We got a late start today (still recovering from the trip out). Gassed up the truck ($6.11 a gallon!!). Headed down to Sweeper Cove which was practically void of birds. Sweeper Creek had a pair of Rock Sandpipers. No sign of the siskin this morning. After reviewing photos online last night, we agree that it was a Pine Siskin. A new bird for our Adak list, but not a lifer.

We headed north and stopped by Adak National Forest to admire the new sign!

New Adak National Forest sign, May 17, 2013.

At Clam Lagoon, I walked out the peninsula, but didn’t find anything new. However, while out there, the Bar-tailed Godwits flew by.

Bar-tailed Godwits, Clam Lagoon, May 17, 2013.

We get Bar-tailed Godwits every May, but the numbers have ranged from two to scores. This year is apparently a good one.We passed the other tour groups along the way and shared sightings. When we got to the southeast side, we spotted the Emperor Goose sitting with gulls out on the flats trying to blend in. We radioed the nearest tour group and they raced back to get it as it was a lifer for two of them! The other tour group was out of range, but when informed that the bird was still here later in the day, they went looking for it, also. We haven’t heard back from them yet as to whether they found it and if any of their group needed it for a lifer.

As we returned along the seawall, a group of gulls, ravens, and eagles were feasting on some creature washed up into the rocks. We couldn’t see what it was, but the birds were getting their fill.

Common Raven and Glaucous-winged Gulls, Clam Lagoon Seawall,May 13, 2013.

Bald Eagle with fine repast, Clam Lagoon Seawall, May 17, 2013

Back on the west side of the lagoon, in one of the small roadside ponds, a Northern Pintail hustled her brood along the edge.

Northern Pintail with ducklings, near Clam Lagoon, May 17, 2013.

Other birds of note today included 3 Arctic Loons, 4 Arctic Terns, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Marbled and Kittlitz’s Murrelets, Glaucous Gull, and at least 8 Eurasian Wigeon.Our trip list stands at 36.