Temp in the 50s, mostly sunny, west wind 10-20 mph.
After the usual Sweeper Cove/Creek/Feeders route, we headed up to White Alice (a hill west of town where the communication towers are located) and picked up a number of Snow Buntings.
We then headed to Clam Lagoon, where I decided to walk the marsh edge. I kicked out a number of Pectoral and Sharp-tailed sandpipers, some of whom landed on the flats, fed awhile, and then flew back to the marsh.
About halfway up, Barb called me about a few birds closer to her position up at the northwest corner of the tidal flats. She had three Pectorals and a peep and possibly the Mongolian Plover (I know! Its called Lesser Sand-Plover now, but Mongolian is way cooler!). Barb has nicknamed the plover “dumpy” as that is how it looks when first seen through the scope. I was still too far away to see them. They flew off and then appeared to return, but now it was a different mix of birds. There were still three Pectorals, but now there were two peeps–a small one and a larger one.
I finally got close enough to start photographing them and trying to identify them through my binos. The larger peep was an obvious Baird’s Sandpiper–one of the easier peeps to identify.
The other (smaller) peep looked gray. As I got closer, I saw it had yellow legs! Now I new it was a Temminck’s Stint! A lifer! I photographed the heck out of it, and we studied the photos very carefully when we got back, and confirmed my initial impression. I know from past experience how faulty field observations and first impressions can be. However, the photos confirmed it as a juvenile Temmincks Stint.
I circled around the stint and headed out to the peninsula. Shortly after I rounded the bend, I saw movement ahead. It was the Mongolian Plover. This time, not so wary. The photos I got are still not Nat Geo quality, but much better than yesterday.
We also saw a Red-necked Grebe today to bring our trip list to 51.
Not a bad start to our second week.