Sunday 5 October 2014

Grand Bank - Days 3 - 8

After spending my first week at the hospital (as a student, not a patient!) I was rewarded with this Blue Grosbeak on my bike ride home:

That night I found myself sleeping under the stars:
you can see the big dipper if you click for the bigger version...

Both nights this weekend had a frost: 

Which may or may not be associated with the appearance of birds typically seen in the winter, such as this Purple Sandpiper:
I think this one is a hatch year bird (but not 100% on this one - don't get enough practice with these guys). Seems to have retained wing coverts and white-fringing on the tertials...

A slow but steady flight of Dovekies this morning was also unexpected - they were my first ones of the season. There were absolutely no winds to force them close to land along Fortune Bay (where I am now) but there they were. I counted close to 200 in about 40 minutes of seawatching.

A very brown junco was unusual... There was a time when I tried turning these into Oregon or "cassiar" Juncos. Not really sure that that is appropriate though. Just an aberrant Slate-colored Junco me thinks.

One Dovekie was feeding quite close to shore around this big boulder:

Dark underwings are unique to this species for Atlantic ocean alcids (edit: except for Atlantic Puffin!):

I've biked a total of 310 kilometres in the last 8 days!

Tons of juvenile White-rumped Sandpipers everywhere I look:

and in various stages of pre-formative molt (transitioning from juvenile to 1st winter plumage) - the subject of a future blog post: