Sunday, May 16, 2021

Temp in the 40s, mostly cloudy, wind ENE 10-15 mph

Still nothing exciting. No action at the feeders, yet…

The Brant is still at Clam Lagoon. I found three Pacific Golden-Plovers in the middle of the road near Palisades Lake. They flew off the road as I neared them.

Pacific Golden-Plover, near Palisades Lake, May 16, 2021

The highlight of the day was a Black-headed Gull that Sam and Steve found early this morning near the Landing Lights. It stayed in the area all day, flying up to Navfac Beach and back.

Black-headed Gull, Navfac Beach, May 16, 2021
Black-headed Gull, Navfac Beach, May 16, 2021
Black-headed Gull, Navfac Beach, May 16, 2021

There was a large (80+) flock of Black Scoters off of the Candlestick Bridge. More White-winged Scoters today as well.

There were a lot of Pacific Loons up and down the coastline. I estimated a total of 25! There were several Common Loons as well, and Sam and Steve found a Yellow-billed Loon at Lake Andrew (of course it was gone by he time I got there!). Yellow-billed Loons just don’t like me. Whenever they see me coming, they either disappear or swim out so far as to be unphotographable!

The Hi-Lonesome tour group went out on a boat for Auklets, etc. today, but I haven’t talked to them yet about how successful it was.

The trip list is 43, but I haven’t been beating the bushes for local birds like Snow Bunting and Pacific Wren, yet.

More travel details

In addition to the flight changes mentioned yesterday, I also encountered rental car changes. I had originally reserved a small SUV for Anchorage. I had read that there was a shortage of rental cars because the rental companies sold off much of their fleet during the pandemic travel slowdown. So I was a little surprised that I had no problem reserving the car I wanted.

Well… After my flight schedule changed, I cancelled the reservation and went to reserve a new one for the new time frame. Not only did they no longer have any SUVs (of any size) available, the daily rental prices had doubled or tripled! So I reserved a standard car.

When I arrived at the Rental Car center at the Anchorage Airport, I asked if they had any cancellations and had any SUVs in the parking lot.THEY DID! So I ended up in a Toyota 4Runner (a lot larger than I needed), but a great birding car (height and visibilty-wise). And double the price of my original reservation.

So if you are planning a birding trip, reserve your vehicle early!