Monday, May 22, 2023

Temp in the 40s, overcast, Wind NNE light

Weather, May 22, 2023

I took Steve Carroll (my landlord on Adak) out birding this morning to give him a taste of what we birders do all day up here.

We didn’t see anything rare, but he got nice looks at a lot of common birds (a number of which he hadn’t known about). He thoroughly enjoyed it and I enjoyed his glee at seeing the birds up close and personal.

After that, I went on my usual foray.

At the Kuluk Drive feeder, I finally saw more than one Hawfinch. Three flew in, but immediately left. So no pics.

On the Seawall, I had both Arctic and Pacific loons together again. But this time they stayed for a photos.

Arctic (left) and Pacific loons, Seawall, May 22, 2023

Shortly after seeing these loons, Ivan called and said he had 5 Pacific Golden-Plovers and a Short-billed Gull on the east side flats.

I got down there in a minute and eventually found them.

The gull was out on the flats, so I ambled down and walked out to get flight photos (essential for separation of the various Common/Short-billed Gull species and subspecies).

After viewing the photos I took, we all thought it was a Common Gull (the Eurasian version of the North American Short-billed Gull — once all lumped under Mew Gull). However, there are other birders more skilled in gull identification than we are. So I sent the photos and asked their opinions.

After review by Isaac, Aaron, and David, we have agreed it is a Short-billed.

Short-billed Gull, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023
Short-billed Gull, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023
Short-billed Gull, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023
Short-billed Gull, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023
Short-billed Gull, Underside of wing, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023

Here are two of the plovers.

Pacific Golden-Plovers, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023

And their tracks…

Pacific Golden-Plover tracks, Clam Lagoon, May 22, 2023

On the way back to town, I stopped at the Marsh and had two more Pacific Golden-Plovers. They were at the usual spot on Redshank Drive.

I then went up to two little wet areas just on the south side of the “White Building.” This has been a favorite spot of mine over the years, in that I can drive right up to it and scan it without leaving the car (using the car as a blind). I have had Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, snipe, Ruff, plovers, etc. here. This is where Sam had the Wood Sandpiper yesterday.

Well… Today the Wood was back!

Wood Sandpiper, Contractors Marsh, May 22, 2023

At Sweeper Channel, one of the more colorful versions of Rock sandpiper was present.

Rock Sandpiper, Sweeper Channel, May 22, 2023

I then got another call from Ivan saying he had relocated the Eye-browed Thrush! I raced over there, to no avail. The bird was being as skittish as ever. Ivan got a distant, so-so photo, but better than mine. We could not find the bird again.

The Trip List is 56.

Today’s eBird list can be seen at