Friday, September 10, 2021

Temp in the 50s, mostly cloudy, wind WSW 15-20 mph

Not a single shorebird on the Clam Lagoon Peninsula this morning!

But wait! There’s more!

The Rock Sandpipers are now in their resplendent winter plumage.

Rock Sandpiper, Sweeper Channel, September 10, 2021

The first time I saw one like this, I thought it was a Purple Sandpiper…

After checking the usual spots this morning, I made it up to Clam Lagoon around 10:30. I headed out to the peninsula only to be greeted with no birds!

So I continued around the lagoon, hit all of the usual spots, finding nothing new.

Eventually I made it back up to the lagoon around 3 PM, but I was totally beat. So I set my timer to 20 minutes and took a nap.

Aah, that felt better!

I grabbed my camera and trundled back out the peninsula. I got out past the bend. No birds.

I started to walk back when in flew a small flock of shorebirds. It was 5 Westerns and the Red-necked Stint.

Then a few more. Then a few more, until we were back to the Western flock of 12.

I looked up and then saw that the Sanderlings had also flown in, but were farther up the shoreline.

As yesterday, the Westerns couldn’t care less that I was there and again walked right up to me.

The Westerns moved around a bit, occasionally flying 20-30 yards to a new feeding spot and then maybe back again. As I was observing them, I noticed that the stint was a “picker” and the Westerns were “probers.” The stint would occasionally probe and the Westerns would occasionally pick, but more often than not, the Westerns probed and the stint picked.

I then heard a different call note as another bird flew in.

A Mongolian Plover! (I know, I know, it’s Lesser Sand-Plover, but Mongolian sounds SO much better).

Lesser Sand-Plover, Clam Lagoon, September 10, 2021
Lesser Sand-Plover, Clam Lagoon, September 10, 2021

Yes, these are pictures of the same bird. One with the light behind me and the other with the light behind the bird! I have a similar set of photos of a Hudsonian Godwit near home. One photo is brown, the other gray. Totally due to lighting.

Not a bad way to end the day.

Gabi and Michelle arrive tomorrow. More eyes and ears…