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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island, September 20-26: TAIGA FLYCATCHER, ARCTIC WARBLER, Brambling, Rusty Blackbird, “Oregon” Junco, Emperor Goose

RBA St. Paul Island, September 20-26: TAIGA FLYCATCHER, ARCTIC WARBLER, Brambling, Rusty Blackbird, “Oregon” Junco, Emperor Goose


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of
September 20-September 26 sponsored by St. Paul Island Tours. The following
sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; asterisks denote a species of less
than annual occurrence, and species in all capitals are one of particular note. 

Birds: Species count to date – 171
65species this week
*Emperor Goose*
Brant(Black)
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Steller’s Eider
King Eider
Harlequin Duck
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Pacific Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Fulmar
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
*Rough-legged Hawk*
Sandhill Crane
Pacific Golden-Plover
Wandering Tattler
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper
Dunlin
Long-billed Dowitcher
Red Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
*Slaty-backed Gull*
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Pomarine Jaeger
Thick-billed Murre
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Pacific Wren
*Ruby-crowned Kinglet*
*ARCTIC WARBLER*
**TAIGA FLYCATCHER**
Red-throated Pipit
American Pipit
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Orange-crowned Warbler
*Townsend’s Warbler*
Wilson’s Warbler
*CHIPPING SPARROW*
*“Red”Fox Sparrow*
*Song Sparrow*
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
*“OREGON” Dark-eyed Junco*
“Slate-colored”Dark-eyed Junco
*RUSTY BLAKCBIRD*
*BRAMBLING*
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
*Pine Siskin*

WEATHER
This week saw perpetually NW winds through Saturday, shifting to calm and
sunny conditions on Sunday, giving way and a volatile vast-moving weather system
from the west Monday that brought rain and variable winds. There was also not
much precipitation before Monday, with only a couple of days having
frequent scattered showers. The recent lack of rain has dried out many marshy
habitats,including Novastorshna Wetlands which currently holds no water, the
pond at Marunich which is almost completely dry, and Town Marsh, which is losing
water fast. 

WATERFOWL
An Emperor Goose was at Southwest Point on the morning of September 25, but
was not seen there later in the day. “Black” Brant were seen in small
numbers all week, except for September 21, when there were 36 detected,
including a migrating flock of 30 over Novastorshna. Both Eurasian Wigeon and
American Wigeon are being seen in small numbers around the Island. Steller’s
Eider have returned, with 3 in the harbor on September 21, and at least 2 there
on September 23. King Eider numbers are growing, with the number seen off
Marunich rising to at least 60 by week’s end. There were drake Black Scoters
off of Marunich this week, with the high count being 8 on September 23. Pacific
Loon has been seen sporadically, with Red-necked Grebe numbers seeing a slight
uptick this week, and being seen at several spots around the coast. 

SEABIRDS and GULLS
A handful of Short-tailed Shearwaters can still be seen at various points
around the island, and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels continue off of East Landing. A
subadult Pomarine Jaeger was harassing Black-leged Kittiwakes on Big Lake on
September20, and the first Slaty-backed Gull of the fall was seen on the
evening of September26 at East Landing. With the vast majority of the Murres
now gone, the only alcids that can be reliably seen are both species of
regularly occurring Puffins. 

SHOREBIRDS
Shorebird numbers continue to decrease. Pacific Golden-Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are still around in reasonable numbers, though less than
20 of each.Western Sandpipers are mostly gone, with only about 6 left on the
island. Long-billed Dowitchers have also almost entirely vanished, with 5 or
less seen every day. 1Bar-tailed Godwit was seen at various places this week,
including Zapadni Ravine and the Salt Lagoon. 4 juvenile Sanderlings were at
Webster Beach on September 25, with 1 still there on September 26. A Sandhill
Crane was reliably reported from Zapadni Beach at the beginning of the week. 

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES
This week was the best of the fall for passerines so far. A fallout on September
21 included a TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Crab Pots), ARCTIC WARBLER (Lake
Hill), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Zapadni Ravine), 2 Orange-crowned Warblers
(Webster House, Zapadni Ravine), 2 Townsend’s Warblers (Zapadni Ravine,
Quarry), a Wilson’s Warbler (Zapadni Ravine), a Chipping Sparrow (near the old
Coast Guard Base),Golden-crowned Sparrow (Crab Pots), a “Red” Fox Sparrow
(Crab Pots), Song Sparrow (Crab Pots) a flyover Pine Siskin (Crab Pots), and 4
Dark-eyed Juncos(1 at Lower Polovina, and 3 at Hutchinson Hill) which included
two “Oregon” Juncos at Hutchinson Hill, possibly only the 3rd fall record of
that group here. Only a few of these birds persisted for another day or two.
A Red-throated Pipit was seen flying over the Crab Pots on September 22, and
rubescens American Pipit was seen at a couple of locations on the Island through
the week. Another very surprising find was a RUSTY BLACKBIRD at the Antone
Celery Patch and at Antone Slough on September 23. BRAMBLINGs showed up on
September 24, with one each at Lower Polovina Cut and Hutchinson Hill, with the
latter being joined by a second individual on September 25, bringing the day’s
total to 3. The 2 Hutchinson Hill birds were seen on September 26 as well. 

This is Doug Gochfeld, your Fall 2011 St. Paul Island Guide, wishing you
productive,exciting birding wherever you may be. Until next week!!! 

St.Paul Island Tours
www.alaskabirding.com
(877)424 - 5637

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