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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island, September 27 - October 03: WILLOW WARBLER, EURASIAN BULLFINCH, SIBERIAN ACCENTOR, HAWFINCH, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, RUSTIC BUNTING, EYEBROWED THRUSH, NORTHERN FLICKER

RBA St. Paul Island, September 27 - October 03: WILLOW WARBLER, EURASIAN BULLFINCH, SIBERIAN ACCENTOR, HAWFINCH, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, RUSTIC BUNTING, EYEBROWED THRUSH, NORTHERN FLICKER


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of September
27-October 03 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 – 181
**83 species this week (highest week to date)**
Greater White-fronted Goose
*Emperor Goose*
Brant (Black)
Cackling Goose (Aleutian)
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Steller’s Eider
King Eider
Harlequin Duck
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
Pacific Loon
*Yellow-billed Loon*
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Fulmar
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Peregrine Falcon
Pacific Golden-Plover
Wandering Tattler
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper
Dunlin
Long-billed Dowitcher
snipe sp.
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Herring Gull
*THAYER’S GULL*
*Slaty-backed Gull*
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Pomarine Jaeger
Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin
**NORTHERN FLICKER (Yellow-shafted)**
**NORTHERN SHRIKE**
Common Raven
*Bank Swallow*
Pacific Wren
*Ruby-crowned Kinglet*
***WILLOW WARBLER***
*EYEBROWED THRUSH*
**SIBERIAN ACCENTOR**
Red-throated Pipit
American Pipit
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Orange-crowned Warbler
***MAGNOLIA WARBLER***
Yellow Warbler
*BLACKPOLL WARBLER*
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
*Townsend’s Warbler*
*Fox Sparrow (Red)*
Fox Sparrow (Sooty)
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
*“OREGON” Dark-eyed Junco*
“Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Junco
**RUSTIC BUNTING**
*Brambling*
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
*Pine Siskin*
***EURASIAN BULLFINCH***
***HAWFINCH***

WEATHER
The beginning of the week saw variable but relatively light (for here) winds. A
large low pressure system passed directly over the Pribilofs on Thursday,
September 29, during the middle of the day. The local surface level winds
remained variable from day to day afterwards, but the system deposited some
birds from Asia on the island as it went by. The recent rain associated with
the system has replenished water in a few of the lower lying wetlands, notably
Novastorshna. The front end of another approaching low pressure system started
affecting the island on October 3, although this one carried light and variable
winds, with some clear sky at times. 

WATERFOWL
A juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose appeared at Pumphouse Lake on September
27, staying in the area until at least September 30. A group of 4 Emperor Geese
flew over Big Polovina Lake heading east on September 29. “Black” Brant
were seen in small numbers all week. Both Eurasian Wigeon and American Wigeon
are being seen in small numbers around the Island. 6 Steller’s Eider appeared
on Salt Lagoon September 29, and stayed for at least 3 days. King Eider numbers
are growing, with the number seen off Marunich over 60 by week’s end. There
was a flock of 12 drake Black Scoters off of Marunich on September 28, and a
female-type bird off of the Reef Blind on October 2. Pacific Loon, and
Red-necked Grebes are being seen regularly, albeit in very small numbers, off
the coast. A YELLOW-BILLED LOON was off of Webster Beach on September 30, and
the first Horned Grebe of the fall was off of Southwest Point on October 1. 

SEABIRDS and GULLS (and RAPTORS)
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.
An adult Pomarine Jaeger flew by East Landing on September 29. Multiple young
Slaty-backed Gulls were seen this week, with one at East Landing, and one at
Big Lake. A subadult Thayer’s Gull at East Landing on September 27 and 28 was
a very nice surprise. With the vast majority of the Murres now gone, and Tufted
Puffin numbers thinning out fast the only alcids that can be reliably seen are
Horned Puffins, although there was a single Common Murre hanging out around the
harbor towards the end of the week. A juvenile female Peregrine Falcon was seen
at various places on the island on October 1 and October 3. 

SHOREBIRDS
Shorebird numbers, and especially diversity, are now very low. A few Pacific
Golden-Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, and Long-billed
Dowitchers are still around in, though in mostly single digits for each.
Western Sandpipers are mostly gone, with only about 6 left on the island. 2
Bar-tailed Godwits were seen at various places this week, including Zapadni
Ravine, the Salt Lagoon, and Hutchinson Hill, although they are not associating
with each other. A juvenile Sanderling was at Webster Beach through the week.
An unidentified long-billed Snipe (not a Jack Snipe) was flushed from the road
near Lake Hill just before dawn on October 2, and a late Red-necked Phalarope
was feeding at Pumphouse Lake with Red Phalaropes on September 27. 

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES
This week was absolutely insane in terms of migrant passerines, which were far
away the stars of the show. The first record for the Pribilof Islands of WILLOW
WARBLER was found at Lake Hill on September 29, followed a few days later by
the first Pribilof Islands record of MAGNOLIA WARBLER at Zapadni Ravine on
October 3. A “Yellow-shafted” NORTHERN FLICKER was seen near Sea Lion Neck
on October 2, and a juvenile NORTHERN SHRIKE was in the Crab Pots eating
Rosy-Finches that same afternoon. A Bank Swallow flew by Polovina on September
27. 6 (!!!) EYEBROWED THRUSHES were seen around the island on October 3 (Lake
Hill, Polovina, Webster House). A great treat for many has been the SIBERIAN
ACCENTOR that was found in the Crab Pots on September 29, and continued through
the end of the period (5 days and counting). Red-throated Pipit and subspecies
of American Pipit were seen most days this week, at locations all over the
Island. Six species of North American Wood Warbler were seen this week,
including several Townsend’s Warbler with the high count for that species
being 3 together in Zapadni Ravine on October 1. The 2nd most surprising of
these 6 species was a BLACKPOLL WARBLER that caused some brief excitement in
the Crab Pots on October 3. A “Myrtle” Yellow-rumped Warbler was reported
from the Blubber Dump on October 2. Both “Sooty” and “Red” Fox Sparrows
were seen on October 3, along with White-crowned and Golden-crowned Sparrows,
and multiples of both “OREGON” and “Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Juncos
were around this week, with Slate-coloreds outnumbering Oregons at least 3-1. 

A RUSTIC BUNTING was in the road next to Zapadni Ravine on September 29, and
another one was on the south side of Hutchinson Hill on September 30.
Bramblings were seen throughout the week in ones and twos at several locations.
The amazing year for PINE SISKINS continues, with the all-time high count for
the Island being broken 4 times this week, culminating with 49 counted on
October 2, and 96 counted on October 3. Before this month, the previous single
day high count for this species was possibly just 6. A EURASIAN BULLFINCH was
seen briefly in flight at Webster House on September 28, and then what was
presumably the same individual was re-found on October 1 above the Lake Hill
Quarry and around the Crater Lakes, where it continued through the period. A
reasonably cooperative HAWFINCH was found above the Town Cliffs on October 3. 

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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