Friday, September 20, 2019

Temp in the 50s, mostly sunny, wind NW turning to SW 5-15 mph

A sunny day on Adak!

We were greeted by a sun-bathed Mount Moffet this morning.

Mount Moffet, September 20, 2019

Out on Kuluk Bay, I saw two Cackling Geese.

At the Landing Lights, there were four turnstones and three Rock Sandpipers.

There was nothing new at the Forest, Warbler Willows, or the Thrush Feeder, so we headed into Contractors Camp Marsh.

Because of the heavy rains, the main road that runs east/west through the marsh has been flooded with 6-8 inches. So we were reluctant to drive it. Instead, we drove up to the flooded part and I got out to walk up the flooded road.

Just as I started into the deepest part, two shorebirds (one large, one small) flushed from nearby and flew around the corner of an old building foundation. I walked up on the foundation and Barb drove up near it and then joined me.

When I initially saw them, I recognized the smaller bird as a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and the larger one appeared to be a Tringa. I said “Here we go again!”

However, when I got a good look at the bird, it sure looked like a Greater Yellowlegs! They were in heavy migration back home just before we left for here. We are VERY familiar with them.

Well, I was right and the bird with it was a Sharp-tailed!

Greater Yellowlegs, Contractors Camp Marsh, September 20, 2019
Greater Yellowlegs, Contractors Camp Marsh, September 20, 2019
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (left) and Greater Yellowlegs, Contractors Camp Marsh, September 20, 2019

The yellowlegs is only the fifth record for Adak – all in September or October. And, of course, a new Adak bird for us.

The Short-tailed Shearwaters continue to hang around in Kuluk Bay and we also had one sitting on the water and fishing near Goose Rocks on the Seawall.

Short-tailed Shearwaters, Palisades Overlook, September 20, 2019

At the Breaches, I had a Pacific Loon.

At the Seawall, there were still 3 Horned Grebes and 3 Red-necked Grebes, as well as a pair (male/female) of White-winged Scoters.

I walked the Clam Lagoon Peninsula and Marsh edge today, but only got three Pectoral Sandpipers for my effort. No Marsh Sandpiper.

We are finally seeing more wrens – probably due to the nice weather today.

Pacific Wren, Seawall, September 20, 2019

Last night, after dinner, the sun came out, so we went up to Clam Lagoon to see if anything dropped in. Well, by the time we got up there, it started to rain again! However, we did witness a large number of waterfowl feeding up near the West Lookout. There were several hundred, mostly Common Teal, but also some Pintails and Mallards. The interesting thing is we have seen a lot of Northern Pintails since we got here, but they have all been females or young. But with this flock were several adult males! Go figure…

As I said, it was raining, the lighting was terrible, so we didn’t spend a lot of time scoping through the flock for oddballs.

Since tonight was fair and sunny, we again went up after dinner to spend some time looking through the flock for who-knows-what. However, they did not cooperate. Instead, they stayed down in the southwest corner (poor lighting and distant).

But, when we first arrived, we scanned the peninsula, and there were eight Sanderlings! We had not seen any earlier in the day.

Then, while vainly scanning the distant, backlit flock of ducks, the Marsh Sandpiper walked out of the reeds behind them. So it is still here after all!

Two more birders are arriving tomorrow, so it looks good for them.

The Marine invasion never took place. They were loading up the hovercraft for departure this evening.

Their mother-ship finally ventured near enough to shore for us to see it (but still not close).

Marines’ Mothership with chopper approaching for landing.

Our Trip List is 47 and the Year List is 82.

Our eBird list is at:

Its supposed to rain tomorrow…