Thursday, September 9, 2021

Temps in the 50s, mostly cloudy, Wind WSW 15-20 mph

The wind has picked up, so although the temps remain in the 50s, it feels much colder.

No new species today. This is typical after 4 or 5 days here. You get most of the local birds and are waiting for the next influx of migrants.

Migrants are definitely moving. More geese were flying by today and the shorebird numbers changed (see below). Just no new species.

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches have found several of the feeders that I have seeded, but no vagrants, yet.

Again, the action was centered on Clam Lagoon.

When I walked out to the peninsula this morning, I had 12 Western Sandpipers.

One of the things I love about the Clam Lagoon Peninsula is that the shorebirds that feed out there are frequently very tame. I guess they have not yet learned how dangerous we are!

Today was no exception. I approached the flock slowly, moved over to the shoreline to get better lighting, planted my tripod and started taking photos.

As I snapped away, the flock just kept feeding and working their way along the shoreline towards me. As they got closer, I had to reduce my zoom length until I could no longer focus on them!

They were literally only 5 feet away. I AM NOT exaggerating!

They stopped, looked at me, I moved back off the shoreline, they said “Thank you” and continued down the shoreline.

Only on Adak!

Western Sandpipers, Clam Lagoon, September 9, 2021. Getting too close to photograph!

Notice in the photo above the angle at which I am looking down on them as they got closer.

When I returned later in the afternoon, the Sanderlings had returned (or a new flock arrived). There were 33 of them.

Sanderlings, Clam Lagoon, September 9, 2021.
Sanderlings, Clam Lagoon, September 9, 2021.

Also, the Western Sandpiper flock had grown to 13.

Plus, the Red-necked Stint joined the flock again.

Red-necked Stint, Clam Lagoon, September 9, 2021.

The Peregrine is still hanging around the lagoon area.

Peregrine Falcon, Clam Lagoon, September 9, 2021.

There was one Short-tailed Shearwater in Kuluk Bay below the Palisades, but none at the Seawall.

I did not walk the marsh edge today. I expect to tomorrow. I did walk a small portion of Contractors Marsh, but didn’t find anything.

In addition to the photos above, I made two videos with my cellphone today. You can tell birds are close when you can do that…

One is of the Western Sandpipers

The other is of the Sanderlings.

As usual, I can upload these videos, but I cannot download them to confirm they are working online. So, if you watch them successfully, please let me know. Thanks.