Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Days, June 8 and 9

There were no new birds for me on June 8 despite spending most of the day looking.  We saw Fork-tailed Petrels well and more Mottled Petrels.  Another Short-tailed Albatross was seen, either yesterday on June 7 or today on June 8.

We arrived at an anchor location in Little Tanaga Strait (previously misspelled) at 3 am and waited for better light before proceeding through the strait.  As we waited in the morning, a Black Oystercatcher flew over the boat calling while I was below having breakfast.  I rushed up on the deck.  The bird was difficult to find on the dark rocks on the shore.  After more searching, the Black Oystercatcher made another pass by the boat.  I saw it well for number 502 for the year. 

We had outstanding views of Whiskered Auklets in very large flocks, Ancient Murrelets as well as of Tufted and Horned Puffins in the Little Tanaga Strait.  See photos (light was marginal). 
Tufted Puffin

When we were about 150 yards of the dock at Adak. Isaac found a Red-necked Phalarope, number 503 for the year.  Thanks, Isaac.

After unloading our gear and moving it to the airport terminal, we birded briefly on Adak.  Isaac, who lived on Adak for five years as an airline agent for Alaska Air, took us to spots in the almost abandoned town to look for Hawfinch, but we found none,  We took a ride to Clam Lagoon, and on the way, saw a Rock Ptarmigan right along the road.  At Clam Lagoon we found two Parasitic Jaegers and common breeding waterfowl, Northern Pintail and Eurasian Green-winged Teal. 
Ancient Murrelet
Then on the plane back to Anchorage.  The views of the Aleutian Islands were fantastic on the way back.

Black Oystercatcher and Red-necked Phalarope raise the total to 503.      

Whiskered Auklets
Whiskered Auklets showing crests

Large Flock of Whiskered Auklets


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