Monday, September 26, 2022

Temps in the low 50s, mostly cloudy, occasional drizzle, Wind SW 10-20 mph

An interesting day, but not exciting…

A lot of distant and/or blurry photos today.

Once it was bright enough, I went over to the High School Spruces to look for the Naumann’s Thrush.

As I walked up to the area, I heard robin-like chatter and saw the thrush fly down to a lower tree and then up to the Eurasian Sparrowhawk tree and then disappear into the foliage.

It was way too fast for me to get any photos, but it was clear it was the thrush.

I knew that if I hiked up the hillside, it would simply fly away, so I decided to wait it out.

I waited for over an hour, but it never showed itself. I even tried playing its song and call (yes, I have all the Siberian bird songs on my phone!), but it is not as if this bird were defending its breeding territory. No response.

I tried again in late afternoon, but did not see or hear it.

I will try again on ensuing days.

As I was standing there waiting for the thrush, a low-flying flock of Cackling Geese came over.

They were low enough that the white collar was visible, designating them as the Aleutian race.

Aleutian Cackling Goose, Adak, Sept 26, 2022

On the way out from Warbler Willows, near the road to Lake Andrew, I flushed another snipe. However, this time I saw where it went, so I walked over there and got a nice blurry photo of it. It was a Common Snipe — as can be told by the broad white trailing edge to the wing.

Common Snipe, near Haven Lake, Sept 26, 2022

Just off South Kuluk Beach, there was a feeding frenzy — mostly Red-breasted Mergansers. But also a White-winged Scoter.

White-winged Scoter, South Kuluk Beach, Sept 26, 2022

Ever since the scoter split, I have been trying to find a Stejneger’s Scoter out here. This one was just a White-winged.

Later, up at the Seawall, I found a female Black Scoter.

Also at the Seawall, Red-necked Grebes continue to hang around.

Red-necked Grebe, Seawall, Sept 26, 2022

I drove down to Candlestick Bridge, checked all of the gulls on the flats and returned to the Seawall.

Out on Goose Rocks were two Emperor Geese.

They weren’t there when I had passed by about 40 minutes before.

Emperor Geese, Goose Rocks, Sept 26, 2022
Emperor Geese, Goose Rocks, Sept 26, 2022

I took some photos. Then I looked down at my camera to adjust some settings, looked up and they were gone!

As with so many of the birds out here, you gotta be fast…

Yesterday was a two-falcon day.

Today was a two-goose day!

When I got back around to the west side of the Lagoon, I saw two shorebirds out on the flats, but nearer the South Lookout than where I was.

So I raced down to the South Lookout, climbed down to the flats, and started to approach them (taking photos along the way).

Anytime I see shorebirds out in the middle of the flats, I expect them to be something different than the birds along the marsh edge or peninsula.


They were just Pectorals.

Pectoral Sandpipers, Clam Lagoon, Sept 26, 2022

I think they landed there just to fool me into thinking they were something else!

As I was walking out there, I also noticed a pair of large ducks feeding alone.

Most ducks this time of year are in flocks, so loners get me interested.

Not only were they feeding on their own, they didn’t flush when I got within a thousand yards from them like all the others do.

In fact they let me get within 40 yards and they just kept on feeding.

Unfortunately, they were just Northern Pintails.

I guess they were young birds who had not yet learned how dangerous man is.

Northern Pintails, Clam Lagoon, Sept 26, 2022

The trip list is 54 (my Sept average)

My ebird list is at