Temp in the 50s, overcast and light rain most of the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon, light to moderate NW wind.
We went down to Finger Bay this morning, picking up Snow Bunting for the trip along the way. The most interesting thing down there was not the birds, but the salmon. We see a salmon run every September throughout the island. Every stream has salmon making their way to spawn — and the accompanying eagles, ravens, and gulls. We have seen a lot of salmon in Finger Creek in the past, but nowhere near this many. In the photos below, every little black dot in the creek is the fin of a salmon! The water was literally boiling with fish. There was hardly any room for more.
Most places we went today were very quiet.– very few birds. The numbers of Lapland Longspurs appear to be declining as they start to migrate. There were still three peregrines patrolling Clam Lagoon, so shorebirds stayed under cover. There were none on the peninsula, but I found three Pectoral and two Sharp-tailed sandpipers along the marsh edge. There were also two smaller shorebirds that flushed with the Pectorals, but disappeared before I could identify them.
The grebes were gone at the seawall, but shearwaters continued to parade by.
When we went by Lake Shirley, the flock of scaup was half as many as yesterday and no Tufted Duck or wigeon. We went up to Lake Ronnie to see if they were hiding there. They weren’t, but there was a flock of variable-plumaged Mallards, one Greater Scaup, some Common Teal, and one Northern Shoveler. Here is a sample of some of the Mallard plumages.
On the way back past Lake Shirley, the number of scaup had increased, and a scan revealed TWO Tufted Ducks! Tufted Duck normally don’t arrive until late September/October, so now we are wondering if two spent the summer (not unheard of) or we have some early migrants.
On our trip out to the Loran Station on Saturday, we took the following photo.
One of the more picturesque places on the island.
Trip list is 48.