Temp in the 50s, rain most of the day until after 4 pm, wind light and variable.
The day started out slow but ended with a bang.
The rain was generally light, but enough to be a nuisance.
The Tennessee group went out on a boat today looking for auklets, but came up empty-handed.
I added some common birds to my trip list — Ancient Murrelet, Common Loon, Rock Ptarmigan, etc.
At the Seawall, a Short-tailed Shearwater was flying around relatively close.
Last night, the Tennessee group told me they had two Wood Sandpipers at Lake Shirley. This morning, I found them in the small pond next to the lake.
I didn’t see many other new birds, so I quit early and had dinner. The rain finally stopped and the sun broke through, so I decided to take a “quick” run up to Clam Lagoon to see if the rain had prompted any new birds to plop down.
From the south side, I saw the Sanderlings were back out in the middle of the flats.
I moved up to the peninsula parking spot and now saw that they had moved farther towards the east side of the lagoon. But, more importantly, they were now joined by a small brown shorebird. It was way too far, and the heat waves to much to identify it from where I was.
I had been in touch with the Tennessee group a few minutes earlier. They were on the eastern side of the lagoon, so I alerted them to the bird and then started “racing” around the lagoon to join them.
When I got to them, they had the bird in their scopes, but it was still too far away — and now backlit!
We walked out onto the flats to get as close as we could, but the lighting was terrible. We all took what photos we could.
At one point, I ventured closer, keeping my eyes on the flock. Once I stopped, I looked around and not 20 feet from me were two Ruddy Turnstones! Tunnel vision…
Anyway, we decided it was a stint. Studied the bird in the scopes and field guides. I was leaning Red-necked, but knew it would take looking at the photos to be sure.
The birds eventually flew — the sun was setting — so I took the others up to the Breaches where I believe Sanderlings like to roost. No luck there, but had a half-dozen or so more Ruddy Turnstones. Also, as we pulled up to the Breaches, a flock of Cackling Geese flew over.
When I got back to the house and reviewed the photos I became very confident that it was a Little Stint! However, after communicating with Isaac, he feels it might be a Red-necked! Here are my photos. See tomorrow’s blog for a followup.
Not a bad way to end a long day.
PS: The Tennessee group also had a Pacific Golden-Plover today and the(a) Common Redpoll at the Elfin Forest.