Monday, May 16, 2016

Temp in the 40s, overcast, wind NNW 10-20 increasing to 15-25+

There are a lot of birding eyes and ears here this week. High Lonesome has 8 people (led by Stephan Lorenz), Wilderness has 10 (led by Aaron Lang), half-a-dozen+ waiting for the Attu tour boat to arrive (Zugunruhe Tours, led by John Puschok), Bill and Cathy Mauck, and us. The boat people expect to leave tonight, the other tour groups will be here until Thursday, and Bill and Cathy will be here the same as us (2 weeks). There will be other birders arriving and leaving during our stay. Some coming for a few days, other coming early to wait for the Attu tour to return and go out on the Adak Pelagic tour (John Puschok). So we hope the extra manpower will help find some good birds.

Today we started at Sweeper Channel, where we had a couple Semipalmated Plovers and Rock Sandpipers. A pair of Tufted Ducks were on the Airport Ponds. At Clam Lagoon, the 13 Bar-tailed Godwits were still there. As we left the south lookout to go up and turn around, we noticed a funny sound. I got out and saw we had a flat tire (not the first time we have experienced this up here!).

We phoned for help because the last time, the jack in the car didn’t work. However, after calling, I noticed the jack looked different, so I tried it and it worked! I raised the car and took off the flat tire. When I unloaded the spare, I saw that it too was flat! So we had to wait until they could get someone to render assistance. Bill and Cathy came by during this time and offered to drive us into town instead of waiting out in the cold. Barb agreed, but I stayed with the car. Two-and-a-half hours later (!!!), we were back on the road again, albeit without a spare…

We drove back up to Clam Lagoon and continued around. We had several Pacific Loons, but not much else of note. However, on the return swing, at the Seawall, we had three Surf Scoters — a rare bird on Adak. And — since we had Black and White-winged scoters earlier in the day — we scored a scoter trifecta! And — it was a new Adak bird or us.

Surf Scoters, Seawall, May 16, 2016

Surf Scoters, Seawall, May 16, 2016

At the north end of Clam Lagoon, a flock of 4 Black Oystercatchers flew in.

Black Oystercatchers, Clam Lagoon, May 16, 2016

Black Oystercatchers, Clam Lagoon, May 16, 2016

When we got back down to the Clam Lagoon flats, the godwit population had grown to 29.

The other tour groups had two Ruffs and several Common Snipe at Contractor’s Camp Marsh today.

Our trip list is 33. Slow start…