Temps in the high 40s, overcast, rain, east wind 15-30 mph
Although we have experienced more days with rain than without on our trips to Adak, we have only had a few where it rained all day and night. This is one of those.
It started raining last night and is not expected to stop until tomorrow night. This has been a steady rain — no letup — although the intensity has varied. And the wind is relentless.
We were excited yesterday at the close shearwaters up at the Seawall. Well, today was even more exciting, as the shearwaters were in Kuluk Bay by the thousands and flying by the Kuluk Bay Overlook at (relatively) close range. We have had them in Kuluk Bay on east winds before, but usually for an hour or so in the morning and then they moved out to sea. Today, they were in the bay all day. We even had a couple fly briefly into Sweeper Cove.
We watched them for some time, looking for other pelagic species, but found none!
Here are a few more shearwater photos.
Note the legs sticking out beyond the “short tail.”
So we headed up to Clam Lagoon. I spotted a medium-sized, gray and white shorebird feeding near a flock of Common Teal. The distance and weather conditions made it difficult to determine what it was, so I clambered down to the mudflats to get a closer look, while Barb kept tabs on it from the truck.
No sooner had I started walking towards it, than the teal all took flight, as did the shorebird. Barb was able to see the distinctive flight pattern of a Common Greenshank. It landed way out in the middle of the flats, but then took off again and flew out of view (so no photos).
There were 6 Parasitic Jaegers still hanging around. They usually leave here by mid-September.
We continued around the lagoon and as we approached the East Side Ponds, a shorebird flew up and away. Our impression was the Greenshank.
The Seawall had its share of Shearwaters, but farther out than yesterday.
There was a flock of Northern Pintails on Lake Shirley.
We headed back down to the Kuluk Bay Overlook to watch the shearwaters some more. As I was scanning through them, a flock of shorebirds came into view. They were Red Phalaropes.
We had just seen our first Adak Red Phalarope this past May (a lone bird). We new that they migrated past Adak regularly, but are seldom seen from land here. So this was a treat.
The weather has been so bad that we haven’t even seen Harlequin Ducks, Cormorants, of Rosy-finches! Our meager trip list is all of 18!
The rain is supposed to start diminishing tomorrow night and the winds shift back to northwest.
There are probably some good birds hunkered down on the island right now, so we hope better weather will allow us to find them.