Temp 60!!, mostly cloudy, Wind SW 5-10 mph
Well, I’m finally here. And its downright tropical. 60 degrees!
Arrived close to on-time. Unpacked, made a sandwich and went birding.
At the Palisades, there were a half-dozen Short-tailed Shearwaters sitting and flying around the bay. Too far for photos. There were also three Parasitic Jaegers — of interest only because two of them were light morphs. 99% of jaegers up here are dark morph.
As I was driving by the East Side Ponds, a flock of a dozen Rock Sandpipers flew in and started bathing.
There were both Red-necked and Horned Grebes at the Seawall. No loons. The usual alcids, puffins, guillemots, murres.
At Lake Shirley, there were 63 Eurasian Wigeon.
At Candlestick Bridge, the shearwaters were closer (but not close). I took some photos anyway.
As I was driving back up the east side of the lagoon, the other group was on the flats and alerted me to a flock of 30 Sanderlings out in the middle. They weren’t there when I scoped that area earlier.
By the time I got back around to the west shore, the other group had flushed a Ruff along the marsh edge. I walked out and joined them and got a so-so photo.
The other group (Lizzie, Cally, Kevin, and John) are from Tennessee. They had not been in touch with me, so I didn’t know they were coming until I ran into them at the Anchorage airport. Nice to have some extra eyes and ears.
On my way up to Clam, I stopped at the National forest. Two birds flew out as I pulled up. One was a Song Sparrow which circled and returned. The other (smaller) bird disappeared. I stayed there for about 15 minutes (eating a late lunch), but did not see the other bird return. Later, the Tennessee group reported a Common Redpoll there.
So not a terrible start to the trip.
Hoping for more tomorrow.