Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 6 on Attu to Henderson Marsh for a Snipe Hunt, June 3

We started from Casco Cove and stopped along the runway to see both Snowy Owls.  Then Isaac led a group of us to Henderson Marsh to look for the Common Snipe.  Jess was doing some scouting and joined us later at Henderson Marsh.  John split off on the road to Henderson Marsh and led a group up Engineer Hill to the Japanese Memorial hoping that up high in the foot hills there might be a chance for Rock Ptarmigan, which we were still missing.  Isaac, Thor, Nancy, Jim and I searched the south side of Henderson Marsh, walking in a line back and forth across the marsh but found no snipe.  We found Eurasian Green-winged Teal, which were everywhere on Attu, Cackling Geese and Mallards but no snipe.  Jess called us on the walkie talkie, came to Henderson Marsh and walked along a line of posts north of the bridge where he heard a snipe giving its ground call.  After lunch we all searched north of the bridge across the river, in the location where Jess heard the ground call, but no luck.  In the proverbial snipe hunt, we were left holding the bag.  We hiked up to the barrel dump and found Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch again and Hoary Redpoll.  I saw the male and female Hoary Redpolls copulating in the willows.  We returned to the area near Brambling Bluff, and walked out the road toward the point near Loaf Island.  It was cloudy misty and very dim.  Isaac had walked out the beach while the rest of us were on the gravel road.  He found three Bar-tailed Godwits, a new bird for the year for me as well as for the trip, and again preserved my record of a new bird for each day of this trip with a late day showing.  John and his group were back from the Japanese Memorial and were near the end of the runway, but all arrived on time to see the godwits.   It was so dim I barely was able to get any photos. 
Bar-tailed Godwits
The godwits took off and flew and then returned to the beach.  During their flight I saw the barred tails; thus, the name.  Thor and I stayed and tried for better photos.  My photos were acquired in very low light and adjusted significantly in Adobe Photoshop.

Bar-tailed Godwit raises the total to 496.


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