Thursday, May 25, 2023

Temp in the 40s, overcast, light drizzle much of the day, Wind SW 10-20 mph

Whoops! I forgot to take the weather photo this morning.

Well, the Russians haven’t made it here yet. Maybe tomorrow…

Low tide was not going to be until 4:30 this afternoon and the high tide was extra high because of the southerly winds pushing it into Clam Lagoon, so I decided to concentrate on the southern half of our birding area until this afternoon.

I ran into Rick’s group and gave them a brief tour of the Airport Ponds and Contractors Marsh. I led them to a spot in the marsh where snipe have been readily heard and seen and, as we got out of the vehicles, the Wood Sandpiper flushed from nearby. I let them chase it down and I went on my way. They got great looks after I left.

I went over to Lake Andrew and threw some seed on the ground near where the Bramblings and bunting have been hanging out. Hopefully, that will lure the Rustic Bunting into view.

While there, I spotted some Caribou hoofprints.

Caribou Hoofprint, Andrew Lake, May 25, 2023

As mentoined a few days ago, seeing Caribou in the north half of the island in other than winter is highly unusual.

After lunch, I started towards Clam Lagoon. I stopped on Bayshore Highway to check the kelp bed off shore and spotted a loon. It was a Yellow-billed. I can’t tell you on how many trips other birders spotted Yellow-bills, but we didn’t. So it was nice to see one myself. You can barely pick out the yellow bill in this very distant photo (easily seen in the scope, however).

Yellow-billed Loon, off Bayshore Highway, May 25, 2023

On the way up to Lake Ronnie, I took this photo of a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers. They are so abundant out here, you forget to notice how colorful they are.

Red-breasted Merganser, Smith Lake, May 25, 2023

At Lake Ronnie, I finally ran into the Lesser Scaup that had been reported last week.

When I was out with Steve Carroll the other morning, he pointed out a local island called Battleship Rock. I didn’t know that before.

Battleship Rock, May 25, 2023

When I originally had driven the Seawall and gone past Lake Shirley, there were no birds of note. But on the return trip, the ducks had returned to Lake Shirley and brought a Tufted Duck with them!

Then, at the Seawall, I found one Arctic and four Pacific loons and a Steller’s Sea Lion!

The thrush has not been seen in two days.

The Trip List is 61 (May average is 67)

Today’s eBird list can be seen at