No new birds, but fun anyway.
Temp in the 40s, overcast, rain and drizzle, 20-30 mph SW wind.
Sweeper Cove had a few birds, including this Pelagic Cormorant, which, being a black bird, can be difficult to photograph.
Pelagic Cormorant, Sweeper Cove, May 23, 2015
The Common Greenshank was reported this morning at Sweeper Creek, but we did not see it.
Only two Tufted Ducks on the Airport Ponds, but we had a flock of 5 Wood Sandpipers there as well. On the Airport Escarpment, we found this cooperative Dunlin.
Dunlin, Airport Escarpment, May 23, 2015
The Ring-necked Duck was in the large pond at the west end of Contractor’s Camp Marsh. The 3 Tundra Bean Geese were still present also.
At Clam Lagoon, we had a pairing we believe may be a first for North America — a Black-headed Gull and Black-tailed Godwit at the same time.
Black-headed Gull and Black-tailed Godwit, Clam Lagoon, May 23, 2015
Today, we got to see the godwit fly, displaying its bold black and white wings and tail pattern (no photos — maybe tomorrow).
The rest of the Clam Lagoon area yielded nothing new, but we did see the other Black-headed Gull again. The rain and wind did not help…
As we were returning to town, we ran into some interns from the Fish and Wildlife Service, who told us they had seen a flock of finches in town and, although some of them were Hawfinches, they thought some were not. We put out the alert to the other bird groups and headed for town. We quickly found the other birders near the FWS office observing some Hawfinches and a Brambling! They had seen at least 6 Hawfinches!
Brambling, City of Adak, May 23, 2015
Hawfinch, City of Adak (Yes, it is classified as a city!), May 23, 2015
We, and the other birders cruised around town and, numbers of Hawfinches were seen. It is unclear as to how many. There may be a dozen! The most that we have ever had on Adak is 3.
In addition to the finches, we had a flock of nine Wood Sandpipers land in a recently flooded area just behind our housing area. That makes at least 16 that we personally saw today. The other groups also saw some. In May 2006 (when we weren’t here!) the birding groups on the island reported “about a hundred.” This may turn out to be a similar incursion.
To top it off, the three Tundra Bean Geese flew by the back of our house while we and the Sitka birders were having a chat — and ice cream!
They — and High Lonesome — are rescheduled to leave tomorrow.