Thursday, September 22, 2022

Temp in the 50s, mostly sunny, Wind W 10-20 mph

I drove around and filled all of the feeders in and near town before sunrise.

As I was driving back, I saw a small gull down on South Kuluk Beach.

This is where I found a Short-billed Gull back in May 2018.

However, this bird was a juvenile and I am not familiar with differentiating between Common and Short-billed gulls in this plumage.

I took a bunch of photos and in the afternoon posted them to the IDFrontiers listserve for advice.

The consensus is it is a Short-billed (the North American version of what used to be called Mew Gull). So it was not an Asian stray.

It’s interesting, as the last one I had also followed several days of strong westerly winds!

Go figure…

Short-billed Gull, South Kuluk Beach, Sept 22, 2022
Short-billed Gull behind Glaucous-winged Gull, South Kuluk Beach, Sept 22, 2022
Short-billed Gull, South Kuluk Beach, Sept 22, 2022
Short-billed Gull, South Kuluk Beach, Sept 22, 2022

Here is the mandatory Bald Eagle pic for the trip.

Bald Eagle, Adak, Sept 22, 2022

Up at the Seawall, a couple of Pacific Wrens put on a show.

Two curious Pacific Wrens, Seawall, Sept 22, 2022

They are really common this time of year, what with all of the young out and about.

I had 11 Ruddy Turnstones on Clam Lagoon and 20 Rock Sandpipers at Sweeper Channel.

The more exciting news played out in the afternoon, when Aaron’s group was watching a Gyrfalcon (which I later saw) and a Rough-legged Hawk flew in, eliciting a chase by the Gyrfalcon (to out of sight). It was a dark morph (only found in North America).

Upon hearing this, I spent the rest of the day scouring the area and saw the Gyr, but could not find the hawk.

It was on Sept 25, 2007 that I saw a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk up near Candlestick Bridge. That bird was a one-day wonder. You can see a photo on the Sept 2007 blog.

I hope this bird stays around long enough for me to see.

By the way, the gull did not stay around for Aaron’s group to see.

My trip list is 46.

My eBird list can be seen at