Moths and Birds

Overcast in cooler, with rain arriving later in the day. Breezy at times.

Forecast for the next couple of days has heavy rain, with a possibility of breaking the record for rainfall for the date on Thursday (set all the way back in 2020).

I walked down to the park this morning to check for moths and birds. I did not have a lot of time before my mid-morning call, but was glad I went when I found a northern thalopaga (Thalophaga hyperborea). It’s a familiar species though I haven’t found one every year. In addition, there was a Pearsall’s carpet moth (Venusia pearsalli) and small engrained (Ectropis crepuscularia), both new for the year.

The tide was well out, and I did not have time to walk out to the water.

I did hear Black Turnstones, but did not see any shorebirds flying. A few Least Sandpipers were at the upper part of the beach along with many pipits.

There were some ducks around, but not nearly as many as last week and even into the weekend.

This afternoon I needed to take Rowan somewhere. While we were out, I checked the channel and was a little surprised to see a few gulls on the ramp for the first time in weeks, I think.

Starrigavan was quiet (at least from the car) – the tide was up, so there could have been things up in the estuary grasses which we missed.

I walked down to look at the beach near the mouth of Granite Creek. A few dabbling ducks nearshore, but no shorebirds that I noticed.

I saw a post to the Sitka Birds group about many shorebirds at the park, so made another late after noon trip down there.

By this time the rain was falling, but hadn’t been for long enough to get things wet under the forest canopy. Fortunately, while I was out on the beach, the rain let up a little bit.

There were at least hundreds of Black Turnstones, at least hundreds of Surfbirds, and smaller numbers of Rock Sandpipers, and Dunlin. I also saw at least one Western Sandpiper, several Least Sandpipers, and a couple of Black-bellied Plovers.

It’s possible many or most of the birds were on the flats this morning while the tide was out. However, I suspect I would have heard more chattering than I did, plus some birds in flight if they had been there.

At one point it appeared an immature eagle was attempting to catch a shorebird. They gave it a little space, but after the first attempt, seemed minimally bothered by its somewhat clumsy efforts. (To be fair, I’m not entirely sure the eagle was going for shorebirds, it was well down the beach from where I was, and at times partially around the corner and out of sight.)

Yesterday I noted the air felt chilly despite the relatively warm temperature. This morning when I was out, it felt less chilly to me although the temperature was actually several degrees cooler. I think part of it may have due to a contrast between the felt warmth of the sun and the relatively cooler air. Today there was no warmth of the sun to contrast.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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