How do you define crazy? Episode 2.
Temp in the 50s, light W wind building to moderate by afternoon, mostly sunny.
A few birds have found a couple of our feeders, but nothing unusual, yet. At Sweeper Cove, we could not find the auklet from last night, but there were more birds there this morning than the previous couple of days.
We headed down to Finger Bay and creek. There is section of Finger Creek that veers away from the road, but has a path along it that eventually meets back up with the road (it is only a hundred yards or so). Well, every trip, I walk that trail while Barb drives up ahead. This is because I expect to find a Common Sandpiper or Wandering Tattler — or who knows what else — along that stretch. So every year I walk it and find nothing. Until today!
Just as I got to the first bend, a pair of tattlers flew across in front of me, one landing on a rock in the middle of the creek and one disappearing around the bend. I quickly called Barb to backup and join me. She got to me shortly and saw the bird and then the other bird came out as well. They were not just tattlers, but Gray-tailed Tattlers (both immatures). We had only seen Gray-tailed once before, in 2007, when Bob Schutsky had found a pair (adult and immature) at Clam Lagoon. I guess they always come in twos!
Note the short wings, white sides, and prominent supercilium.
We headed back north, finding nothing new at the usual spots. I walked out the Clam Lagoon Peninsula, but the Western Sandpiper was gone and nothing took its place.
As we neared the Blue Building Feeder, I spotted a small bird dart behind one of the spruce trees. It looked different. I got out of the car and walked up the back side of the trees while Barb walked up the front.
A small bird fluttered out, flycatching. My first impression was American Redstart, which also flycatches and has pale tail markings similar to what I was looking at. However, I knew American Redstarts do not get out to the Aleutians. It went from tree to tree, around the building and back again, giving me photo opportunities. It was a Taiga Flycatcher! The first record for Adak, as far as we know. And a lifer for us!
We continued around the lagoon. No shorebirds on the Seawall. The pond along the road to Zeto Point had a bunch of Pintails, Mallards, and one Northern Shoveler.
As we came back around, we stopped again at the Blue Building and the flycatcher was still there.
We headed back to town, checked feeders, and went down to Sweeper Cove to see if the auklet had returned for late-day feeding as yesterday. It had. It still wasn’t close, but close enough to get a photo to confirm it was a Crested, not Whiskered.
A great day!
The triplist is 43.