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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island July 30th-August 5th: PIN-TAILED SNIPE, WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

RBA St. Paul Island July 30th-August 5th: PIN-TAILED SNIPE, WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island rare bird alert for the week of July 30th–August 5th, 2012, sponsored by St. Paul Island Tour. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; an asterisk denotes a species of less than annual occurrence or one of particular note.
 
2012 Species Count: 120

Weekly Species Count: 51

Birds Mentioned:

 

TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. columbianus)

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

RED-THROATED LOON

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

***WHITE-TAILED EAGLE

Pacific Golden-Plover

GRAY-TAILED TATTLER

Whimbrel (ssp. variegatus)

RED-NECKED STINT

Pectoral Sandpiper

SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER

Wilson’s Snipe

***PIN-TAILED SNIPE

Red Phalarope

BLACK-HEADED GULL

Slaty-backed Gull

Pomarine Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

RHINOCEROS AUKLET

Common Redpoll

 

WEATHER

 

The week was dominated by moderate west and southwest winds most days with a moderately strong low pressure system that pushed through just to the north of St. Paul on Wednesday.  The system brought with it a good total of rain (over an inch) while high pressure seems to have moved in after the system passed to the east.

 

WATERFOWL

 

Much like last week with the continuing TUNDRA SWAN seen throughout the week, the Steller’s Eider continuing through the 5th, and Greater Scaups still being seen around Polovina through the 30th.


SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

Very nice birds this week included an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Big Lake on the 3rd and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET at Southwest Point on the 2nd.  Other species of some note included the continuing RED-THROATED LOONS at Webster Lake with 2 there on the 3rd, a Slaty-backed Gull at various spots near Town on throughout the week, the year’s strongest movement of Short-tailed Shearwaters so far with 5500+ at Southwest Point on the 1st, and small numbers of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels still present through the 3rd.  The first Pomarine Jaeger in a while was seen at the Salt Lagoon on the 30th and small numbers of Long-tailed Jaegers continue to be seen daily.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

This continues to be the most interesting category of birds currently appearing on the island with the clear highlight being the PIN-TAILED SNIPE which was re-found and confirmed near Marunich on the 31st, it has not been seen subsequently.  Other shorebirds of note this week included the first juvenile SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER of the season on the 5th, the continuing juvenile RED-NECKED STINT near Town through the 5th, and scattered GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS most days of the week including 2 birds mid-week near Southwest Point.  Regular migrants this week included “Siberian” Whimbrels on the 1st and 2nd, Pectoral Sandpipers on the 30th and 1st, Pacific Golden-Plovers on the 1st and 2nd, and moderate numbers of Red Phalaropes early in the week with small numbers through the week’s end.  Also of special note is the discovery of a fledgling Wilson’s Snipe at Tim’s Pond on the 3rd which provides the first breeding record for this species in the Pribilof Islands and makes it only the 5th species of shorebird to be confirmed nesting on St. Paul Island.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

With the same species diversity as last week the landbird category was clearly highlighted by the continuing WHITE-TAILED EAGLE which was seen well on the 3rd and 4th while two Common Redpolls were seen around Polovina on the 1st.

 

Regularly occurring species currently present on the island:

 

Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal (ssp. crecca and carolinensis)

King Eider

Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Northern Fulmar

Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

Semipalmated Plover

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone

Least Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)

Red-necked Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Glaucous-winged Gull

Glaucous Gull

Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Pigeon Guillemot

Ancient Murrelet

Parakeet Auklet

Least Auklet

Crested Auklet

Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin

Pacific Wren (ssp. alascensis)
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (ssp. umbrina)

This is Scott Schuette, Doug Gochfeld, and Ryan O’Donnell, the 2012 St. Paul Island Tour guides, wishing you good birding. For tour information or to make travel arrangements visit our website http://www.alaskabirding.com or call 1-877-424-5637.

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