Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Quality trumps quantity…

Temp in the high 40s, Partly Sunny, No Precipitation, Wind E 5-10 mph

With the overnight east winds and relatively calm seas, it was easy to pick out a number of Horned and Tufted puffins in Kuluk Bay.

There was nothing else of note until I went up to Haven Lake, where I found the Tundra Swan (finally!).

Tundra Swan, Haven Lake, May 24, 2022

At the Landing Lights Jetty, I took the required annual Rock Sandpiper photo.

Rock Sandpiper, Landing Lights Jetty, May 24, 2022

I then worked my way up to Clam Lagoon and was almost to the Blue Building complex, when the Goffs radioed that they had two(!) possible Black-tailed Godwits at the southwest corner of Clam Lagoon.

I raced back there (as did the other birders in the area) and sure enough, there were a male and a female Black-tailed Godwit!

Black-tailed Godwit (male), Clam Lagoon, May 24, 2022
Black-tailed Godwit (female), Clam Lagoon, May 24, 2022
Black-tailed Godwits (male on the left), Clam Lagoon, May 24, 2022

I had only seen one in spring before (2016), so this was great!

Arriving birders brought news of a Tufted Duck at Sweeper Creek. So several of us hastened down there. Steve saw it briefly, but when he turned to call to the others, the bird disappeared. It was found later in the day (not by me), but was very flighty and required a long hike up the channel that runs parallel to Sweeper Creek. Maybe it will find a nice pond to settle in on and I will see it then.

After all of the reports of the wagtail being spotted at Contractor’s Camp Marsh, I decided I would eat my lunch there and wait an hour or two, if needed, to see this bird.

Well, of course, as soon as I pulled up to the spot, there it was!

White Wagtail (Black-backed morph), Contractor’s Camp Marsh, May 24, 2022

It is of the black-backed variety. Our previous record was a gray-backed bird.

After that (and lunch) I took another swing around Clam Lagoon, but the only new bird I found was a Northern Pintail.

I headed back to the house and had dinner. Just as I finished, I got a call from Sam that they had a Least Sandpiper on Sweeper Creek. I headed over there and got it for the trip.

Least Sandpiper, Sweeper Creek, May 24, 2022

I’ve only had them on four previous trips, so it is a good bird out here.

Three of the groups of birders are leaving tomorrow, so fewer eyes…

The trip list is up to 58.

You can view today’s list at https://ebird.org/checklist/S111225236