Sunday, May 18, 2014

Today’s Large Marine Mammal Score — Barb 2 – Frank 1

Temp in the 40s, mostly sunny, light east wind getting stronger and northeasterly in the afternoon.

Little to add today.There were still five Tufted Ducks on Airport Pond.

Tufted Ducks, Airport Pond, May 18, 2014.

Tufted Ducks, Airport Pond, May 18, 2014.

Aaron told us there was only one swan at Haven Lake yesterday, so we stopped by today and only one (Bewick’s) was there. Three Bar-tailed Godwits were still on the flats. The Shovelers had moved to Shotgun Lake.

Northern Shovelers, Shotgun Lake, May 18, 2014.

Northern Shovelers, Shotgun Lake, May 18, 2014.

At Palisades Overlook, we ran into Aaron and his group. One of them spotted a Yellow-billed Loon out in the bay, which we added to our list.

On the way up to Clam Lagoon, a lone Cackling Goose flew by.

The seawall had little, however Aaron had reported a bunch of loons there in the morning. By afternoon, only two Pacific Loons and one Yellow-billed remained. While scanning the sound, another 17 Cackling Geese flew by.

On the way back to town, we stopped again at Palisades Overlook and, while scanning for more loons, spotted a whale! It turned out to be a Humpbacked Whale — a lifer for both of us. Yes, I got this one in the Q and got good looks at it.

The weather map shows a large high sitting just north of Adak and NOT MOVING! This is keeping our skies clear and winds light. Unheard of in May. May’s weather usually consists of rapidly moving systems, strong winds, lots of precipitation, and good birds. The only good news is that our records show that most of the “good” birds show up in the last ten days of May, rather than earlier.

Our trip list stands at 51.

Keeping our fingers crossed…