Temperature around 50, mostly sunny, light south wind.
Our first full day of birding on Adak was nice for shorebirds.
Our first of the day were three Black Oystercatchers in Sweeper Cove. Then we had a half-dozen Rock Sandpipers in Sweeper Channel.
After getting some additional food shopping done, we headed up to Contractor’s Marsh, where I started to walk across the marsh. No sooner had I gone a bit, Barb flushed three shorebirds from the side of the road. When she circled back to find them, she saw a fine Sharp-tailed Sandpiper sitting right out in the open. I caught up to her and tried to get a photo, but it flushed, along with several others, and as it circled, more joined the flock, eventually totaling twelve. They were mostly Pectoral Sandpipers, but a few were Sharptails.
We continued up to Clam Lagoon, where I walked the edge of the marsh and then the peninsula. In the marsh, I flushed at least a dozen Pectoral Sandpipers, six Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, a possible Baird’s Sandpiper, and two Long-billed Dowitchers. There were no shorebirds out on the peninsula, but there was a nice flock of Red-breasted Mergansers (albeit in winter plumage).
We could not find the geese that we saw last night, but we did see the Peregrine several times and at least one Parasitic Jaeger.
Along the way, a Raven posed nicely for us.
As we rounded the northeast corner of Clam Lagoon, we always check a stony section where several years ago we had a nice flock of Ruddy Turnstones — usually to no avail. Well this trip was different. A flock of 15 were there.
Along the seawall, traditionally the best place to find shorebirds is on beds of kelp washed up on shore. Today, the only kelp was confined to about a hundred-yard stretch, which made it easy to look for these elusive critters.
As we came upon the kelp bed, Barb spotted two Pacific Golden-Plovers.
We then saw several Rock Sandpipers and, shortly thereafter, several more turnstones.
Since it was a good visibility day and the wind was swinging around to the east, we scanned the horizon for Short-tailed Shearwaters and saw bunches of them streaming by. They are usually seen with scopes only, but today we saw several well within binocular range — which was a treat.
As we continued south along the seawall, I spotted two terns flying directly overhead. However, by the time we were able to jump out of the car to try to get a better look at them, all we saw was the north end of a horse going south! By all accounts, they were probably Arctic Terns, as there are no records of Aleutian Terns this late in the season, but Arctics have been recorded up to September 30.
Throughout the day, hundreds of Lapland Longspurs flew down the road in front of us and dozens of Song Sparrows flew along the side of the road or serenaded us from the tops of Cow Parsnips.
Not much in the way of waterfowl, as their migration has not yet gotten into full swing.