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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » FINAL RBA St. Paul Island, October 11 - October 15: EURASIAN BULLFINCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, Canvasback, Eyebrowed Thrush

FINAL RBA St. Paul Island, October 11 - October 15: EURASIAN BULLFINCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, Canvasback, Eyebrowed Thrush


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of October
11-October 15 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. 

This is the last RBA of 2011, as all the remaining birders departed St. Paul
Island on Saturday, October 15. 

Birds:  FINAL 2011 Species Count – 186
67 species this week
Greater White-fronted Goose
*Emperor Goose*
Brant (Black)
Cackling Goose (Aleutian)
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
**CANVASBACK**
Steller’s Eider
King Eider
Harlequin Duck
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Red-breasted Merganser
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Fulmar
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Small falcon sp.
Pacific Golden-Plover
Wandering Tattler
Ruddy Turnstone
Western Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper
Dunlin
Long-billed Dowitcher
Red Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Herring Gull
*THAYER’S GULL*
*Slaty-backed Gull*
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
**NORTHERN SHRIKE**
Common Raven
*Red-breasted Nuthatch*
**GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET**
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
*EYEBROWED THRUSH*
American Pipit
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
*Wilson’s Warbler*
*CHIPPING SPARROW*
Fox Sparrow (Sooty)
*SONG SPARROW*
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
*“OREGON” Dark-eyed Junco*
“Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Junco
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
*Pine Siskin*
***EURASIAN BULLFINCH***

WEATHER
The major weather event this week was the large and fast moving low pressure
system that passed to the north of us on Tuesday, bringing with it a day and a
half of SW winds. Winds then shifted to N and then NW from Thursday afternoon
through Friday, and for the final night and day of the abbreviated period there
were light west winds. The first overnight freeze of small bodies of water of
the season happened on Monday night, and much of the vegetation is now brown
and dead. 

WATERFOWL
At least 2 adult Emperor Goose were around the island through the period, and
possibly more, with 2 seen on Webster Lake on several days, but one was also
seen On Salt Lagoon. It is not known if the latter is a separate individual
than the ones on Webster Lake. The previously seen juvenile Greater
White-fronted Goose continued at Pumphouse Lake and the vicinity through at
least October 12, while the flock of 16 Cackling Geese (Aleutian) continued at
the Crater Lakes through October 11. Eurasian Wigeon is the 3rd most common
dabbling duck on the island right now, with up to 18 individuals detected on
October 12 on several bodies of water, mostly on the east side of the island.
was on Antone Lake on October 5 and continued through the period. The 7
Steller’s Eider continued on Salt Lagoon through the period. Pacific Loon,
and Red-necked Grebes are being seen regularly and in increasing numbers off
the coast, with the Pacific Loon number reaching double digits by week’s end.
The first Common Loons of the fall showed up this week, on a couple of bodies
of water around the island as well as flying by Sea Lion Neck. The CANVASBACK
(2nd Pribilofs record) that was flushed out of Antone Lake by a noisy bulldozer
last week was seen back on the lake on October 11 and 12, and then re-located
to Weather Bureau Lake from October 13-14. The first Buffleheads and Common
Goldeneye of the season showed up this week. 

SEABIRDS and GULLS (and RAPTORS)
Short-tailed Shearwaters and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels continue in reasonable
numbers, with strong weather events being the best time to see them close to
land. Multiple immature Slaty-backed Gulls were seen this week, mostly near
East Landing, but also on Salt Lagoon, Pumphouse Lake, and Big Lake. At least
one and possibly more juvenile THAYER’S GULLS continue East Landing. While no
alcids can reliably be seen anymore, a couple of Pigeon Guillemots and small
movements of Murres were seen from various seawatch vantage points this week.
Red-legged Kittiwakes are now completely gone, and went unrecorded during the
period. The only raptor seen this week was a small falcon that eluded
identification due to rain, darkness, and the brevity of the observation at
Polovina Hill on October 12. 

SHOREBIRDS
There are almost no shorebirds left on the Island at this point. There are
still a few Pacific Golden-Plovers around, and a Wandering Tattler continued at
Marunich through at least October 14. 2-4 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers were still
hanging out at Barrabaras Wetlands through at least October 15, with 2
continuing Long-billed Dowitchers. The lingering Western Sandpiper continued on
Barrabaras Wetlands through October 13. Ruddy Turnstones and Rock Sandpipers,
which for a good portion of the year are by far the most numerous shorebird
species on St. Paul Island, are nearly absent. Red Phalaropes can still be
reliably found just offshore, although only in small numbers at this point. 

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES
The juvenile NORTHERN SHRIKE week continued through at least October 13, mostly
now around the Airport. EYEBROWED THRUSH continued through the week, with one
continuing in Zapadni Ravine through October 14 (the last time that location
was checked), and the one at the Crab Pots continuing through October. A very
wet Red-breasted Nuthatch was in the wild celery patch to the west of Webster
House on the very rainy day of October 13. The only passerine that was added to
the year list for the island was GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, with one calling near
the Lake Hill Quarry and 2 observed at the Blubber Dump on October 11. The
adult male Wilson’s Warbler at Webster House continued to October 11. The
only other Warbler seen this week was a Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler seen
sporadically in the aforementioned celery patch at the Wester House through the
period. The sparrow highlights were the continuing Chipping Sparrow on
Hutchinson Hill that remained until October 11 (only 2 days total), and the
dark Song Sparrow that showed up at the Webster House pallets on October 11 and
remained through October 14. The “Sooty” Fox Sparrow continued at the cut
at Hutchinson Hill through October 14, and the “Gambel’s” White-crowned
Sparrow from last week continued with it through at least October 13. Multiples
of both “OREGON” and “Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Juncos were seen again
this week. Bramblings were non-existent on St. Paul this week. PINE SISKINS
continued through the period, though their numbers are dwindling fast from the
high count of 284 last week, with less than 20 per day seen for the last three
days of the survey. For the second week in a row we I can say that after the
one from last week went M.I.A. for a week, a brand new adult male EURASIAN
BULLFINCH was found, this time alongside the road near Hutchinson Hill a little
over an hour before the plane carrying the last birders off the island departed
on October 15. The THREE recent individuals represent the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
records for the Pribilofs. 

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

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

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