Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Temps in the 50s, mostly cloudy, Wind calm building to SW 5-15 mph in the afternoon

Weather, Sept 26, 2023

Near the Sweeper Cove Jetty, a young Common Murre kept calling. I first learned this call a few years ago up at the Seawall. I heard this call, which sounds like a shorebird, but all I could see nearby were a couple of Common Murres. I played the Common Murre call on my phone, but it was just the grr sound. So I kept scouring the shoreline for this mysterious shorebird. I finally saw the young murre open its mouth as I heard the call. I then searched for murre calls in my list of Asian bird calls and found a young murre call, which was it! Mystery solved.

Common Murre, near Sweeper Cove, Sept 26, 2023

I checked Sweeper Channel next. As yesterday, there were about a dozen teal and a few wigeon. I checked them thoroughly for the Baikal. No luck.

I had to return to the house and when I got back to Sweeper, Aaron was there. And, amazingly, he did not have the Baikal or any other new duck! History did not repeat…

At the Kuluk Bay Seaweed Patch, I had two Emperor Geese and a Common Loon.

There was nothing new at Warbler Willows or the National Forest.

I walked Clam Lagoon and, halfway up, a duck flushed from the edge. I snapped a few photos of it in flight — not identifying it.

When I downloaded the photos to the computer this evening, it turns out it was the Garganey!

Garganey, Clam Lagoon, Sept 26, 2023

Notice the two broad white wing stripes and the white line over the eye.

I also had the usual Sharp-tailed and Pectoral sandpipers and a couple of snipe.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Clam Lagoon, Sept 26, 2023

At Andrew Lake, a few eagles were having a meeting.

Bald Eagles, Andrew Lake, Sept 26, 2023

Up at the Breaches, I had both a Common and a Yellow-billed Loon. As usual, the Yellow-billed was distant.

Yellow-billed Loon, the Breaches, Sept 26, 2023

After not seeing a single falcon yesterday, I saw a Peregrine at Clam Lagoon today and then when I got back around to the Blue Building Feeder, the Merlin popped in.

Merlin, near Blue Building Feeder, Sept 26, 2023

Each fall, I see a number of immature Red-faced Cormorants with white around the base of their bills. Here are two images, the first from 2006 and the other from two days ago.

Red-faced Cormorant, Clam Lagoon, Sept 14, 2006
Red-faced Cormorant, Clam Lagoon, Sept 26, 2023

This appears to be normal for young Red-faced, yet the only field guide that shows this is the Easy Asia guide! I don’t understand why it is not illustrated more. It appears to be diagnostic…

On another note, Mount Sitkin — the active volcano 30 miles east of Adak — is growing a dome, which indicates a coming eruption.

Mount Sitkin, May, 2022
Mount Sitkin, Sept 26, 2023

Notice the central “bump.” It is now higher than the peak to the left. And the white there is gases coming from the volcano.

The Trip List is 61 and the Annual List is 84.

You can see today’s eBird list at https://ebird.org/checklist/S150842541

Aaron’ group leave tomorrow.