Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Rare Shorebird

The last few days have been dominated by strong North or Northeast winds, the winds of which bad dreams are made of. There continues to be a little passerine turnover, but all are from the Alaskan mainland (except maybe some Red-throated Pipits). We have seen an influx of White-crowned Sparrows and some had a juvenile Chipping Sparrow. Arctic Warblers, Northern Wheatears, Bluethroats and Red-throated Pipits continue to please the crowds of tours groups that have all finally arrived.

Even in these winds, when you have this many birders together in a small area, good birds are going to be found. September 3 produced my lifer Lesser Sand-Plover along the lakeshore of Troutman Lake. Great looks were had. I re-found the bird in the same place today (September 4) and managed a mediocre picture. Also today a Gray-tailed Tattler was found, along with a few Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.

September 2 and 3 produced one Yellow-billed Loon each, the bird I will soon be surveying for the Alaska Fish and Wildlife. They become more numerous later in the season, along with other loons (*cough Arctic cough*).

There are now three tour groups here including Wings, High Lonesome and Wilderness. Winds are supposed to change to the West on Thursday, but possibly only for a short time. After that we will be hammered with North winds indefinitely. Looks like this might be the year of no Asian passerine vagrants… more later.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there. I had eight straight days of strong north winds when I first got there in September last year, with no relief on the horizon. I was feeling the same way. Then the winds shifted without warning and the Asian vagrants started trickling in. You've got over a month to go, the winds will shift, something sick will show up. In the meantime, enjoy the wagtails and gyrfalcons.