Saturday, September 11, 2021

Temp in the 50s, Overcast and rainy in the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon, Wind WSW 15-25 mph

A glorious sunrise this morning.

But it quickly turned to rain, but ended just as the flight arrived. And the ending rain produced the first rainbow of the trip.

I worked my way up north again as usual. Nothing new.

At Clam Lagoon, I scanned the near portion of the peninsula and found the shorebird flocks intact. Westerns, Plover, Stint, Sanderlings.

I continued around the lagoon and spotted a light-morph Parasitic Jaeger near Candlestick Bridge.

Parasitic Jaeger, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021
Parasitic Jaeger, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021
Parasitic Jaeger, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021

When I came back around the lagoon to the peninsula viewing spot, the shorebirds were nowhere to be seen!

I continued into town and to the airport to meet Gabi and Michelle.

After getting their gear and food stowed, we headed up to the lagoon for what we hoped would be a look at some lifers.

We went straight to the peninsula viewing area, but did not see any shorebirds.

So we left my car there, hopped into Michelle’s SUV and drove down to the South Lookout from which we went out onto the flats to walk the marsh edge. No one had walked the edge since Wednesday, so I was hoping the Sharp-tail and Ruff might still be there.

No such luck. However, we did find a Pectoral Sandpiper — a trip bird for me.

Pectoral Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021
Pectoral Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021

We finished the marsh edge and set out to the peninsula. Just past the bend, we found them. Only one Sanderling, but all the rest were there and gave good looks for all.

Lesser Sand-Plover, Clam Lagoon, September 11, 2021

Both the plover and stint were lifers for both Gabi and Michelle. A great start to their trip!

As on previous days, the we were delighted to see the birds up close. They didn’t get within 5 feet like yesterday, but maybe 10-15 feet! What a great experience.

We continued around the lagoon. At the Seawall, Michelle picked out a Thick-billed Murre. They occur here regularly, but I don’t search through the hundreds of Common Murres out here to find them. So it was a nice addition to my trip list. Also, it was the first one that I have seen out here that was within photo range.

Thick-billed Murre, Seawall,, September 11, 2021

This was a lifer for Gabi and a semi-lifer for Michelle, as her previous bird was not very satisfactory.

Here I am walking the marsh edge.

Frank walking along the Clam Lagoon Marsh Edge, September 11, 2021

And here I am with Michelle looking at the shorebird flock on the peninsula.

Michelle (left) and me on the Clam Lagoon Peninsula, September 11, 2021.

There are supposed to be stronger westerly winds tonight and tomorrow, so hope springs eternal…